Tim Hortons faces backlash for blocking gay and lesbian news website on WiFi

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TORONTO - Tim Hortons (TSX:THI) is facing a brewing backlash from Canada's gay and lesbian community after blocking customers from accessing a news website on its WiFi networks.

Staff at Dailyxtra.com, the online home for the free newspaper Xtra that's distributed in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, say they heard complaints from readers that the site was inaccessible at Tim Hortons.

The publication asked that the site be unblocked, assuming it might have been blacklisted in error.

But publisher and editor-in-chief Brandon Matheson says an email from Tim Hortons stated the site was "not appropriate for all ages viewing in a public environment."

The email went on to say the company blocked Dailyxtra.com as part of its mission to provide "a safe and pleasant experience" for customers and "a friendly environment."

A call to Tim Hortons requesting an interview was not immediately returned.

"It's really up to Tim Hortons to explain the situation and what review they did of the site, the determination they made and why," says Matheson.

Organizations: Tim Hortons, TSX

Geographic location: TORONTO, Canada, Ottawa Vancouver

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