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'Changes Are Not Enough': LGBTQ Activists Protest Proposed Chick-fil-A Location in Toronto

12-06-2019

Even though Chick-fil-A announced last month that it would no longer be awarding grants to Christian groups that activists have falsely labeled "anti-LGBTQ", now activists in Canada say the restaurant chain's recent changes are not enough.

The Windsor Star reports earlier this week a group of around 20 people gathered outside Toronto City Hall to protest against Chick-fil-A. 

The protestors carried slanderous signs saying "Chick-fil-A hates LGBTQ+ people," and "Chick-fil-A is a homophobe." For the record, Chick-fil-A has stated that's not true.

New openings of restaurant locations have been met with similar protests, but these Toronto protestors are ahead of the game. They found out a site approval for a new Chick-fil-A location was on the city council's agenda.  

Protest organizer Cole Fortier told The Windsor Star while the council agenda didn't have a lot of information on the Chick-fil-A opening, Monday's meeting was a time to let council members know that some people are opposed.

"If and when they do open, we're going to be there protesting," he said. "Their grand opening, job fairs, whatever they have, we're going to be there."

As CBN News reported, after donating to more than 300 charities this year, Chick-fil-A is planning to refine its philanthropic structure, according to a report from Bisnow. And that apparently includes no longer donating cash to organizations that have been perceived by some on the left to be anti-LGBTQ - charities like the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Over the years, both the Salvation Army and the FCA have opposed same-sex marriage, a position that has apparently proved untenable for the Christian-owned Chick-fil-A, at least from a marketing standpoint.

"We made multi-year commitments to both organizations and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018," a representative for the Atlanta-based restaurant chain said in a statement, noting the quick-service eatery will focus its philanthropy on "education, homelessness, and hunger."

Chick-fil-A president and COO Tim Tassopoulos said that, as the company expands into more places, "we need to be clear about who we are." He added, "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

But some activists are not buying into the new change by the restaurant chain. 

The new Chick-fil-A location in Toronto wasn't brought up during the council meeting.  

After the meeting, Mayor Drew Dilkens told the newspaper if the council decided to not approve a site plan application because it didn't like the company's philosophy, the company could successfully appeal.

"Whether I like the owner of Chick-fil-A and what he stands for or doesn't stand for, that cannot play a role in any decision we make," Dilkens said.

The Georgia-based restaurant chain announced plans to expand into Canada in 2018.  It will also continue its policy of not opening on Sundays.  It's first Toronto location opening earlier this year was met by a crowd of protestors. 

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