LBC host Nick Ferrari says homosexuality is a ‘choice of lifestyle’ in bizarre debate over Chick-fil-A

LBC radio host Nick Ferrari stated live on air that homosexuality is a “choice of lifestyle” in a heated debate about Chick-fil-A closing its first UK branch.

Chick-fil-A is a popular American fast food chain which has donated millions of dollars to anti-LGBT+ organisations. The Baptist family-owned company has explicitly stated that they are opposed to equal marriage and that they support a repeal of same-sex marriage in the US.

The first and only Chick-fil-A branch in the UK recently opened in Reading, but will be closing in less than six months after sustained pressure from local LGBT+ advocates.

Benjamin Cohen, CEO of PinkNews Media Group, was invited onto the show to discuss the issue, along with a lawyer from the Christian Legal Centre.

Ferrari begins the discussion by suggesting that the closure of Chick-fil-A is “going a little far, isn’t it?” before persistently opposing Cohen on almost every point he makes in support of the LGBT+ community.

In the four minutes and thirty seconds Cohen was on air, Ferrari can be heard interrupting or speaking over him at least 20 times while allowing the Christian lawyer to speak entirely uninterrupted throughout his segment.

Nick Ferrari: ‘You are all about tolerance, which is what you want for your choice of lifestyles.’

At one point Ferrari asks Cohen: “You can get that upset about a company that sells chicken and chips?”

“Well, I find it odd that a company that sells chicken and chips is trying to preach morals,” Cohen replies, before he is quickly cut off by the host, who pauses the line to prevent Cohen speaking.

Ferrari then continues: “They put money towards some questionable – some would argue, questionable causes, but it’s not as if they plaster their restaurants with banners, do they?”
“The reality is it’s very unusual. I can’t name a single major British company that would possibly have senior people espousing these views, particularly a nationwide brand,” Cohen says.

With Ferrari attempting to interrupt throughout, Cohen goes on to explain that while Chick-fil-A’s openly anti-LGBT+ views are permitted in the strongly-polarised US, they are not acceptable in the UK where sexuality and gender identity are protected by law.

There is no justification for why same-sex couples receive higher fees.

Same-sex couple kissing in protest outside a branch of Chick-fil-A. (Tom Pennington/Getty)

He is unable to complete his answer before Ferrari cuts in again with his final question.

“So you [the LGBT+ community] are all about tolerance, which is what you want for your choice of lifestyles,” he says.

Cohen counters: “I don’t choose to be gay Nick, it’s not a choice. Sorry Nick, are you now saying you can choose to be gay?”

“No, no, of course you can’t choose to be gay,” he blusters, before pushing forward with his question: “Why can you show no tolerance to a food chain?”

“Well, Nick, I now don’t have tolerance for you because you just said that me being gay is a lifestyle choice,” Cohen replies, adding that the LGBT+ community are not seeking tolerance, but acceptance.
Ferrari was apparently unable to comprehend why the LGBT+ community might be lacking in tolerance for a company that opposes their basic human rights.

“All this over a chicken shop!” he exclaimed, before cutting Cohen’s line and transferring to the Christian lawyer, Michael Philips.

Ferrari speaking to a caller (LBC)

Philips described the Chick-fil-A boycott as a “spectacular own goal” which will ultimately increase the brand’s sales. Ferrari listens patiently while he rants about a “mob rule” which will lead to a “totalitarian society”.

Astonishingly, Ferrari allows Philips to claim that Chick-fil-A “are not anti-LGBT, that is just simply wrong, it’s just fake news… they do not discriminate in terms of their employment, anyone can work there whether they are LGBT or not”.

Philips freely defended the company on the basis that they only donated “a fraction of their money” to anti-gay organisations.

He also added that they broke their tradition of closing on Sundays in order to serve the community in Orlando after the mass shooting at Pulse gay nightclub.

Unfortunately, this gesture pales in comparison to the fact that Chick-fil-A’s owners donated $1.9 million to anti-LGBT+ groups in a single year, and have continued gifting large sums to organisations that fight against LGBT+ rights for the past decade.

Benjamin Cohen said: “I’ve been interviewed by LBC and many other radio stations many times over the past 14 years but, in my view, this was the most unpleasant interview I’ve ever done.

“In general, LBC does a good job in reflecting LGBT+ issues and Maajid Nawaz has been a recipient of a PinkNews Award for his fantastic coverage of LGBT+ issues on his show. It’s a shame this particular interview was handled so badly.

“It’s my intention not to go on the Nick Ferrari show ever again until they issue an apology.”

PinkNews has contacted LBC’s parent company Global for comment.