Subway franchise closes in France after outcry Valentine"s Day special which was offered to heterosexual couples only

Subway closes in France after offering Valentine's Day special to heterosexual couples onlyOwner of shop in north-west city of Angers cited 'freedom of expression'Poster slammed as 'homophobic' went viralSubway France closes branch and forced to apologise via Facebook page

By
Steve Robson

PUBLISHED:

19:42 GMT, 17 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:42 GMT, 18 February 2013


The Valentine's Day poster which appeared at a Subway in Angers, France, which specifies it is for a man/woman combination only

The Valentine's Day poster which appeared at a Subway in Angers, France, which specifies it is for a man/woman combination only

A French branch of the sandwich chain
Subway has caused outrage after offering a Valentine's Day special to
heterosexual couples only.

The
franchise in Angers, in the north-west of the country, has been forced
to close after the owner's poster went viral and sparked widespread
condemnation on Thursday.

Subway's corporate offices swiftly intervened and the shop was closed the next day.

The poster advertised a meal deal
which included a footlong Subway sandwich, a drink and a dessert each
for 14 Euros for 'couples' on Valentine's Day.

But in brackets next to the word 'couples' were the letters 'H/F' to indicate that this was defined as a man and a woman only.

It
was also marked with an asterisk which explained: 'Discrimination ()
No, the marriage for all law has advanced, but has yet to be ratified by
the Senate. Until then, I'll use my freedom of expression.'

France is in the midst of approving a bill to legalise gay marriage but it has yet to be ratified by the Senate.

The law was approved by the National
Assembly on Tuesday and will go before the upper house of French
Parliament on April 2 and is expected to pass.

But as in Britain, the issue has proved to be divisive for some and the Subway poster sparked a backlash of negative comments.

The
storm began when a Facebook user posted a picture of the advert with
the tag: 'If this isn't homophobia, I don't know what is!'

Subway France's official Twitter
responded to individuals who made angry comments about the offer on
Friday saying: 'We have been made aware of this poster and it has been
immediately removed from the Subway in Angers.'

The
company later tweeted: 'We are committed to diversity/integration, we
are working with the owner of the restaurant to reinforce our
values/politics'.

The Subway in Angers, north-west France, where the advert appeared on February 14

The Subway in Angers, north-west France, where the advert appeared on February 14

According
to the French website Ouest-France, another Subway in the Angers area
also came under fire online after the poster went viral.

It
was reportedly forced to close its Facebook page because of 'abusive
comments' and later issued a press release dissociating itself from the
other Subway and the heterosexuals only offer.

Subway France responds to Twitter users who have complained saying 'We have been made aware and have immediately removed the poster at the Subway in Angers'

Subway France responds to Twitter users who have complained saying 'We have been made aware and have immediately removed the poster at the Subway in Angers'

Subway France later tweeted: 'We are committed to diversity/integration, we are working with the owner of the restaurant to reinforce our values/politics'

Subway France later tweeted: 'We are committed to diversity/integration, we are working with the owner of the restaurant to reinforce our values/politics'

A statement issued on Subway France's Facebook page yesterday said: 'The Subway brand is strongly committed to maintaining the values ​​of diversity and inclusiveness in its restaurants around the world and does not endorse in any discrimination of any kind.

'We apologize to all those people who felt offended by the individual promotional initiative for Valentine's Day of a restaurant in Angers, France.'

Subway described the owner as a 'marginal case' and said it was looking at possible sanctions.