The American conservative fast food chain Chick-fil-A is coming to Canada and the decision to migrate over is already causing an uproar with the LGBTQ2 community and Torontonians.
The fast-food company has drawn controversy in the past for openly supporting homophobic views and referencing the bible in response to their views on family. In 2012, Chick-fil-A’s then-president Dan Cathy told The Ken Coleman Show “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”
Though, in 2014, he stated that he regretted getting the company caught up in the politics of same-sex marriages. He didn’t, however, retract his statements and asked people to respect his opinion on the matter.
Chick-fil-A has also reportedly donated millions of dollars to organizations like Exodus International, an organization that was well-known for their gay conversion therapy. They also donated money to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a non-profit organization that openly supports homophobia. For example, their student leader application has a section titled “FCA’s Sexual Purity Statement,” which specifies that “God desires His children to lead pure lives of holiness. The Bible is clear in teaching on sexual sin including sex outside of marriage and homosexual acts. Neither heterosexual sex outside of marriage nor any homosexual act constitute an alternative lifestyle acceptable to God.”
It added that leaders would need to step down from their role if they were caught going against the outlined protocol. “This does not mean that I am a bad person and that the FCA does not love me and want me involved; this is in order to protect the integrity of the ministry and to protect the ones to which we are ministering,” it says.
Currently, the chicken restaurant is set to make its first Canadian appearance in Toronto by next year. According to a letter from Chick-fil-A’s current president, Tim Tassopoulos, they also plan to expand their operations across the GTA with an additional 15 locations over the next five years. In light of the news, LGBTQ2 communities and Torontonians are speaking out against welcoming a restaurant with such a homophobic past.
People have taken to Twitter to voice their concerns and threats of a boycott. The hashtag #BoycottChickFilA has started on the social media platform and dozens of people are expressing their disinterest in the fast-food chain moving to Toronto.
“The decision to invest in Toronto as our first international Chick-fil-A market isn’t one we take lightly,” Tassopoulos said in his letter. “We’ve spent years researching cities across the world, and the more time we spent here, the more we knew Toronto was the perfect place to roost.”