An LGBTQ group, drag queens, and animal-rights activists all did their darnedest Friday to put a damper on the grand opening of Toronto's first Chick-fil-A, CTV News reported.
Image source: YouTube screenshot
"Shame, shame, shame," one protester yelled at a patron leaving the restaurant, the station said.
Indeed, the groups' protest was flashy and loud. But hungry customers lined as early as 6.30 a.m. prior to the official opening, CTV News reported.
And they wouldn't be denied their chicken.
In fact, as animal-rights protesters staged a "die in" outside the restaurant, Chick-fil-A patrons whistled right past the make-believe graveyard and into the new restaurant, apparently undeterred by the scene.
Image source: Twitter video screenshot
Here's a clip showing customers' "die in" indifference:
There is nothing I enjoy more about a die-in protest video than seeing people ignoring them and just walking right… https://t.co/Gjah3gI6Pv— Matt Whitlock (@Matt Whitlock)1567790654.0
Members of The 519, a city organization dedicated LGBTQ inclusion, were among the protesters, the station said.
"Chick-fil-A has given millions of dollars to anti-LGBTQ2S organizations, including known hate groups and proponents of conversion therapy, and continues to do so every year," The 519 said, according to CTV News. "Many U.S. 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."
'This is school yard bullying tactics'
But Canadian evangelical Christian leader Charles McVety — who's planned an event for Saturday outside the restaurant — told the station that "Christians will not be driven out of the city."
McVety added to CTV News that those marching in the 20th annual Jesus in the City parade Saturday should stop by the Chick-fil-A to "pray for freedom and security."
In an interview with the station, he added that "it's upsetting that people want to stop a business simply because it adheres to Christian values. This business is only about chicken. It should only be about chicken. It should not happen in Canada, if you just want to get chicken you shouldn't be shamed. We have sympathy for the gay community, we love the gay community, but we would never commend anyone for shouting people down. This is school yard bullying tactics, and we are against bullying."
'Give us a try'
A Chick-fil-A spokesperson told CTV News that "we respect people's right to share their opinions and want all Torontonians to know they are welcome at Chick-fil-A Yonge & Bloor. Our focus is on offering a welcoming and respectful environment for our guests and team members, and we encourage people to give us a try."
LGBTQ group protests opening of Toronto Chick-fil-A youtu.be