- Chick-fil-A is opening in Toronto, and many Canadians aren’t too pleased about it.
- The fast-food chain has a long and contentious relationship with the LGBTQ community.
- Angry consumers are boycotting the company on social media, saying that it has “no place in Canada” and that it should “stay out.”
Chick-fil-A didn’t receive a very warm welcome when it announced plans this week to open in Toronto.
The fast-food chain has a long and contentious relationship with the LGBTQ community.
CEO Dan Cathy has been vocal in the past about not supporting same-sex marriage because it goes against the company’s religious values. In 2012, he told the Baptist Press he was “guilty as charged” when it came to his stance on how a family should be constructed.
“We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit,” he said.
It was later revealed that the chain, through its WinShape Foundation, had donated more than $US2 million to organisations that oppose same-sex marriage two years earlier.
Because of this, angry consumers are boycotting the company on social media, saying it has “no place in Canada” and that it should “stay out.”
“I know your homophobic history and your bankrolling of political candidates who promote anti-LGBT discrimination,” one person wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “That bigotry has no place in Canada. I will be boycotting you and encouraging others to do the same.”
Chick-fil-A “is proudly anti-LGBTQ soooo no thank you,” another user tweeted on Friday morning. “I’ll be spending my money elsewhere #boycottchickfila.”
“We cannot wait to join the Toronto community – to become a part of the vibrant restaurant scene, contribute to the economic development of the city and to be an active member of a community known for its diversity. We are a brand that is represented by more than 120,000 people from various backgrounds and beliefs, and we open our doors to everyone,” Rich Matherne, vice president, international at Chick-fil-A said in a statement emailed to Business Insider.
Chick-fil-A is planning to open at least 15 restaurants in the Toronto area over the next five years, with the first three locations opening next year, Chick-fil-A’s president and chief operating officer, Tim Tassopoulos, told Business Insider’s Hayley Peterson. The Toronto restaurants will be Chick-fil-A’s first franchisee-owned units outside the US.
Toronto has tons of great chicken places already, and none of them are run by homophobes. Support those places instead #BoycottChickFilA
— Sam Burkiss (@sampurkiss) July 26, 2018
#boycottchickfila I will not support a company that is so openly homophobic. Never eating here!
— Otus Pare (@OtusPare) July 26, 2018
Just a friendly Canadian reminder that we are a progressive country and have morals and fight for equal rights for all. We don't want your bigoted and discriminatory business opening anywhere north of the border. #BoycottChickFilA
— Chris Lotts (@chrislotts1) July 26, 2018
Chick-fil-A has tried to repair its image after its CEO’s comments.
In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2014, Cathy said (per Time): “Every leader goes through different phases of maturity, growth, and development and it helps by [recognising] the mistakes that you make. And you learn from those mistakes. If not, you’re just a fool. I’m thankful that I lived through it and I learned a lot from it.”
According to Time, he told the paper that he recognised that consumers “want to do business with brands that they can interface with, that they can relate with” and that the company did not discriminate against employees or customers based on their sexual orientation.
However, its image hasn’t been forgotten.
“You must love the taste of bigotry!” one person wrote on Twitter.
Dorsey later apologised.
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