The planned opening of a Chick-fil-A in Windsor, Ontario, is drawing protests from LGBT activists, despite the company’s change in giving strategy.
About 20 people protested outside the Windsor city hall Monday, holding signs reading “Chick-fil-A hates LGBTQ+ people,” and “Chick-fil-A is a homophobe,” according to the Windsor Star.
The property of the Devonshire Mall in Windsor is the proposed location.
The proposed site was listed on the agenda as information only, and council members did not vote, the Star reported. Still, the protesters said they wanted to make their voices heard.
“If and when they do open, we’re going to be there protesting,” protest organizer Cole Fortier told the newspaper. “Their grand opening, job fairs, whatever they have, we’re going to be there.”
The Chick-fil-A Foundation last month announced a new donation strategy it said will “provide additional clarity and impact with the causes it supports.” Beginning in 2020, the Chick-fil-A Foundation will support Junior Achievement, Covenant House International and local food banks.
The Foundation will no longer support the Salvation Army or the Fellowship of Christian Athletes -- the two organizations that were at the heart of many LGBTQ protests of Chick-fil-A in recent years.
The protesters in Windsor, Canada said the Foundation’s change in giving strategy does not matter.
“Don’t bring hatred into the country,” protester Hedy Halpern told the Star. “They are fear-mongering, I think that they are pushing an agenda that is hateful and is something that should not be welcomed in Canada. I really don’t want to see them in this country.”
Ryan Champagne, another protester, agreed.
“Canada supports diversity,” Champagne said.
Mayor Drew Dilkens told the Star that the company’s beliefs should not figure into the council’s decision.
“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,” he said.
Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast-food chain in the United States in sales. Its official corporate purpose is “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.” Its stores are closed on Sundays.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Getty Images/Tom Pennington/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.