- (Photo: Twitter/Diego-San)
A Subway restaurant located in Angers, France, was forced to close recently after the franchise owner, in an attempt to voice his opposition to the country's expected legalization of same-sex marriage, provided a discount to only heterosexual couples on Valentine's Day.
The owner of the franchise, which is located approximately three hours southwest of Paris, reportedly posted a sign on the front of his establishment on Feb. 14, offering a foot-long sandwich, a drink and a dessert for 14 euros ($18).
Next to this discounted offer, the owner designated the deal as being only available to heterosexual couples, and added an asterisked notation below which read:
"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."
The sign gained widespread popularity once it went viral on the Internet, predominately on Facebook and Twitter, and Subway France quickly intervened, temporarily shutting down the Angers franchise and issuing a statement on its official Facebook page.
"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," the statement read.
"We apologize to all those people who felt offended by the individual promotional initiative for Valentine's Day of a restaurant in Angers, France," the statement added.
The company also tweeted that it is "committed to diversity/integration, we are working with the owner of the restaurant to reinforce our values/politics."
According to the Daily Mail, another Subway franchise also located in Angers was forced to temporarily close its Facebook page after it received angry comments by those mistakenly believing that restaurant to be the same as the one which posted the heterosexual discount.
The topic of same-sex marriage has become a heated issue in France in the recent months, as the country prepares to legalize the Marriage for All Bill.
The bill, which passed the National Assembly vote on Feb. 12, is expected to also pass the Senate on April 2.
The country has become highly divisive on the issue of same-sex marriage, with people on both sides of the debate gathering in Paris to show their support or opposition to the Marriage for All bill.
A pro-same-sex marriage rally in January resulted in a 100,000 person attendance, while hundreds of thousands also gathered at a separate rally in the same month to oppose the bill.
Many contest the bill because it would allow for same-sex couples to adopt children.
"This law is going to lead to a change of civilization that we don't want," Philippe Javaloyes, a protester at the January march against the bill, was quoted as saying, according to a previous article by The Christian Post.
"We have nothing against different ways of living, but we think that a child must grow up with a mother and a father," the protester added.