Chick-fil-A hit back at 'inaccurate and misleading' reports on LGBT row that led to petition to have new Aviemore store shut down 

Chick-fil-A have hit back at reports in the British media that they have a political agenda which puts them at odds with the LGBT community and has led to calls for the closure of their first store in Scotland.

Published 6th Nov 2019
Updated 31 st Oct 2023

The US fast food chain described the reports surrounding their funding of anti-LGBT causes as 'inaccurate and misleading', stating that money given to three organisations in particular had been misrepresented by recent articles by the British press.

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The statement was made in response to the news that an online petition had been launched calling for the closure of their first Scottish outlet, which opened in Aviemore in October.

Speaking in an interview with PinkNews, the Equality Network’s Scott Cuthbertson, who started the petition, said: “Scotland is a country with a proud LGBT legislative record, and the opening of such a restaurant isn’t compatible with that.

“Chick-fil-A need to learn that if they spend millions supporting anti-LGBT organisations that there should be consequences, consumers vote with their feet.

“Quietly sneaking into Scotland when you’ve been rejected south of the border won’t wash.”

A spokesperson for Chick-fil-A said in response to the petition: “We hope our guests in the U.K. will see that Chick-fil-A is a restaurant company focused on serving great food and hospitality, and does not have a social or political agenda.

"We are represented by more than 145,000 people from different backgrounds and beliefs, and we welcome everyone.”

At the time of writing, the petition had already secured over a 1,000 signatures.

In response to the claims about the money they have spent supporting anti-LGBT organisations, Chick-fil-A added: "In 2017 (the last reportable tax filing available), the Chick-fil-A Foundation gave $9.9 million in donations to communities across America.

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"The sole focus of our donations was to support causes focused on youth and education. We are proud of the positive impact we are making in communities across America and have been transparent about our giving on our website. To suggest our giving was done to support a political or non-inclusive agenda is inaccurate and misleading."

The spokesperson went on to say that the funding given to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, The Salvation Army and the Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH) had been particularly misrepresented and that in the case of the first two, the money donated was focused purely on supporting summer sports camps for inner-city youth and children’s programs, while they added that the money given to the PAYH stopped after a blog post surfaced from 2010 that does not meet Chick-fil-A’s commitment to creating a welcoming environment to all.

A spokesperson for Macdonald Aviemore Resort said: “We are pleased to have them [Chick-fil-A] invest in the Aviemore economy, where the restaurant is proving extremely popular.

“It’s vital to underline that, in both our recruitment and our customer care, we treat everyone with respect, regardless of race, religion, sexuality or gender.”

The news follows the US food chain’s unsuccessful attempt to open its first UK outlet in Reading, which is set to close after its licence was revoked by The Oracle shopping centre following protests over the company’s consistent funding of anti-LGBTQ organisations and causes.

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Online petition launches to call for closure of controversial US chain Chick-Fil-A's first Scottish outlet in Aviemore following LGBT row

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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