Chick-fil-A opening met with large protest in Toronto

(The 519)

The opening of Toronto’s first Chick-fil-A restaurant is has been met by protesters as backlash is increasing against the chain on social media.

The fast food company has a long history of donating to anti-gay organizations, with its charitable network giving millions to “conversion therapy.” They’ve even funded groups that believe being gay should be re-criminalized, including the Family Research Foundation and the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Scrutiny has been on the chain for years and now animal rights group Liberation T.O. and LGBTQ community centre The 519 are getting behind the Toronto protest.

“Chick-fil-A’s anti-LGBTQ2S agenda and politics is well-documented,” The 519 wrote in a press release, adding that the chain doesn’t offer protection, benefits or diversity training to LGBTQ employees.

"Many US cities, campuses, and retail outlets have refused to allow Chick-fil-A to locate within their spaces, and/or have been vocal opponents of the corporation’s hateful values. Toronto and the rest of Canada need to be next in line,” they said.

The protest began 10:30 a.m. at the 1 Bloor East opening location.

Crowds of people gathered outside the restaurant with signs that read “Cluck Off” and “Chick-fill-A is full-A homophobia”.

Prior to the protest, Chick-fil-A hired a PR firm to handle the launch, so it’s clear they know their entry into the Canadian marketplace might not be met with open arms.

Reaction from Torontonians have been mixed, with some decrying the chain while others are lining up ready for a chicken sandwich.

Would you eat at Canada’s first Chick-fil-A?