Proposed Chick-fil-A faces opposition

BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer

Chick-fil-A, which has given money to anti-LGBTQ groups, plans to open a restaurant on Whipple Avenue in Redwood City, which is ruffling some feathers.

Merrily Robinson, a Redwood City resident, said she plans to voice her disapproval of the Planning Department’s approval of the chicken fast food eatery at Monday’s council meeting.

“I have to go make a comment and at least have the council consider that maybe not hatred should come to our town,” Robinson said. “It doesn’t matter that I’m gay, but this touches my belief that if you don’t stand up for each other, then who will be left?”

Chick-fil-A became controversial in 2011, when it was reported that the Georgia-based chain’s charitable arm donated to anti-gay marriage groups. Tax forms from 2017 show that the company donated to the Salvation Army ($150,000) and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes ($1.6 million), two organizations that have been criticized for opposing same-sex marriage and excluding LGBTQ people from leadership positions.

Out Magazine, among other outlets, reported that the Salvation Army has refused to house homeless gay couples unless they separate and denied service to transgender folks.

Chick-fil-A sent the Post a statement saying that the business is “committed to earning the respect and business of all our customers, and one day hope to serve guests in Redwood City.”

Redwood City’s Planning Department approved an architectural permit for the Chick-fil-A at 536 Whipple Ave., where a McDonald’s currently is, on Dec. 4. The restaurant is slated to open Aug. 8.

Andres Loyola, a peer support worker at the San Mateo Pride Center, said it’s troubling how the city is managing the situation.

“It’s really frustrating and a disappointment of Redwood City and the county, honestly,” Loyola said.

Loyola added that she finds it interesting that Chick-fil-A had no problem finding a location in Redwood City, while two gay men who tried to open up a gay bar in the city last year had trouble with finding a location.

San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa, who represents the northern part of the county including Daly City, said he is working to put pressure on Chick-fil-A to withdraw their application in Redwood City and not open.

“Chick-fil-A’s values don’t line up with San Mateo County’s,” Canepa said. “The way they can earn our respect is by leaving our county.”

If Redwood City were to find a way to stop Chick-fil-A from opening, they would be the second city on the mid-Peninsula to do so. In 2012, two Mountain View residents appealed the city’s approval of a Chick-fil-A at 1962 W. El Camino Real.

The council approved the appeals, which kicked the eatery out of the city. Chick-fil-A abandoned Mountain View and opened up in Sunnyvale.

7 Comments

  1. Horrors! They gave to the Salvation Army. I’ll bet that if the Post starts digging, you might find they’ve donated to other sinister groups like the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society or maybe something as awful as the Make A Wish Foundation.

  2. Is there evidence that Chick-fil-A is biased against gays because of these donations? I’d say that was flimsy evidence. If they have proof that Chick-fil-A discriminates against LBGTQ employees or customers, then they should provide that evidence. There are laws barring such discrimination. But I haven’t heard of anything like that. Instead, Chick-fil-A is guilty because they gave to the Salvation Army, like millions of other Americans? I’m suspicious. Something else must be going on here.

  3. If you don’t like the company or their ways then don’t go there. I don’t buy or go to a company because of their believes I go because they have something I want or need. This is my opinion and I have the right to it

  4. This is frightening. A business can be prevented from opening because of the beliefs of one of its owners. Orwellian thought police! Why isn’t the gay community boycotting businesses associated with Iran, Saudi Arabia or China, where gays are killed?

  5. Who asked David Canepa to get involved in this? Redwood City isn’t even in his district! I think he’s just looking for a way to get publicity for himself. His term is up in 2020, hopefully somebody will run against him in the primary next March.

  6. How can we help get this Chick-fil-A opened in RWC? They have great food, friendly staff, and they do not discriminate in their hiring or who may patron their restaurants. I’m tried of having to drive all the way to Sunnyvale where there is a long line to wait in because the food is so popular!

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