A group of suburban activists plan what they say will be a "family-friendly" protest on Nov. 14, the opening day of a new Deerfield Chick-fil-A franchise.
Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A has long caught the ire of the many in the LGBT community, largely because of CEO Dan Cathy's 2012 statements against marriage equality. Though Cathy and officials tried to walk back those statements to varying degrees, the company has reportedly given to organizations with anti-LGBT stances since since.
Carolyn Pinta, whose daughter Molly helped conceive of the Buffalo Grove Pride Parade, and who is co-organizing the Deerfield protest, said that residents conceived of the protest "organically."
A Deerfield resident, Adrienne Schwarzbach-Johnson, asked fellow posters to a community Facebook group what they thought about the pending Chick-fil-A franchise. "It just absolutely blew up," Pinta said. "People were really upset about it."
Pinta, who with her family created the Pinta Project non-profit, emphasized that the protest would be very "grassroots" and is not stemming from a larger rights organization. The Pinta Project "stepped in because we had the resources to do so," she added. "We are working with Adrienne to put a schedule together. It will be a one-hour rally/protest, and we're making sure that 'family-friendly' is in the title, because we really want to encourage families to bring their children."
Including young people, according to Pinta, "shows them that you have choices where you spend your money. You can spend your money in places that show love and acceptance for all."
Pinta added that about 15 speakers are planned for the event, which takes place at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14 at the Chick-fil-a at 75 S. Waukegan Rd.
In a statement to Windy City Times, Chick-fil-a, Inc., said: "We are aware of the planned demonstration by concerned community members and will provide a place for this group to peacefully demonstrate. Chick-fil-A is a restaurant company focused on food, service and hospitality. Our restaurants are locally owned and operated, and support organizations that are reflective of their own communities. The newest Deerfield Chick-fil-A will strive to provide a welcoming place for everyone that walks through its doors."