UK's First Chick-fil-A Shut Down After LGBTQ Protests
Christian-led restaurant chain closes Britain's first branch after just 6 months
Chick-fil-A, the popular Christian-led American family restaurant chain, has been forced to shut down its first British branch after lobbying by LGBTQ protesters.
The family-owned fast-food chain, known for its alleged support for socially conservative causes and Christian ethos, has around 2,400 branches across the United States.
Barely a week after its grand opening, the Oracle shopping center in Reading, England, has announced it will not renew its British pilot restaurant’s lease after its first six months are up.
The Oracle said not renewing Chick-fil-A’s lease is “the right thing to do” after lobbying from the Reading Pride group.
Reading Pride says it regards these charities as anti-LGBTQ, according to the BBC.
According to Fox News, the store opened its "pilot" location on Oct. 10 in Reading, which is about an hour and a half drive from London.
A mall spokesperson said concerns raised by activists about the chain have made them determine "the right thing to do" is not to extend the restaurant's lease beyond the "six-month pilot period," according to reports by BBC.
The restaurant has long faced pushback from LGBTQ groups who have attacked CEO Dan Cathy over his beliefs.
Cathy repeatedly made comments condemning homosexuality and gay marriage and donated $1.8 million in 2017 to groups that spread anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, according to reports by Think Progress.
Chick-fil-A defended the donations saying they were intended to “help with economic mobility of young people by focusing on homelessness and poverty, education, and community revitalization, and is done with no political or social agenda,” according to a company statement in March.
Cathy has openly said that America is "inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage," in a 2012 radio interview.
"I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about," he added at the time.
Cathy later doubled down on his comments saying he is "guilty as charged" in his discriminatory beliefs.
Chick-fil-A has launched another international storefront in Canada in September, which also drew a bevy of protestors over the same issues.