CO-LEADER of the Scottish Greens Patrick Harvie has called for Holyrood parliamentarians to avoid the Macdonald Hotels chain following its controversial decision to allow a Chick-fil-A eatery to open in its Highland hotel.

The US chicken shop chain, whose business history includes contributing millions of dollars to anti-LGBT organisations, quietly opened the doors of its first Scottish restaurant around three weeks ago in the food court of the Macdonald Aviemore Resort.

Harvie, the first openly bisexual man to be elected to the Scottish Parliament, stated that as well as being “a major name in the Scottish hospitality sector”, the hotel chain had close ties with the Scottish Parliament.

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“MSPs as well as visiting delegations from other countries often use their hotel on Holyrood Road, and many organisations hold briefing events there when the space inside Parliament is full. So we have a special responsibility to challenge them to drop their association with this toxic US company which funds campaigns to undermine LGBT+ people’s safety and human rights.

The owner of Chick-fil-A opposes same-sex marriagePatrick Harvie, co-leader of the Scottish Greens

“I cancelled the reservations I had there as soon as I heard about this partnership. I’d urge my colleagues to do the same, until Macdonald end their commercial relationship with these sponsors of prejudice and hatred.”

He concluded that MSPs “have a particular responsibility to show leadership on these issues”.

A petition has also launched that hopes to pressure Macdonald Hotels “not to support people who fund groups opposed to LGBT equality”.

The Equality Network’s Scott Cuthbertson, who started the petition, stated: “This is an organisation which has spent millions of dollars funding organisations which actively oppose equality for LGBT people. Scotland is a country with a proud LGBT legislative record, and the opening of such a restaurant isn’t comparable.”

The US fast-food chain has a long history of supporting anti-LGBT causes.

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In 2017 alone the organisation poured over $1.8 million into anti-LGBT organisations such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which requires staff to accept “sexual purity” and opposes same-sex marriage.

The founder of Chick-fil-A was also known to fund organisations that supported gay and transgender conversion therapy, while his now-CEO son claimed that same-sex marriage was an act of arrogance against God.

When asked to comment on the call for MSPs to avoid the hotel chain, a spokesperson for Macdonald Aviemore Resort said: “Chick-fil-A is an enormously successful business, with over 2300 restaurants in the US, and we are pleased to have them 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 location in the four-star retreat in Cairngorms National Park is the second Chick-fil-A to open in the UK.

The first, which opened earlier in Reading this month, faced an immediate backlash which resulted in the store’s licence not being extended beyond its first six months.