News (World)

England’s first Chick-fil-A shut down by LGBTQ protestors barely a week after opening

A Chick fil-A logo sits atop one of its restaurant buildings.
Photo: Shutterstock

LGBTQ protestors have shut down the first U.K.-based location of the fast-food chain Chick Fil-A barely a week after it opened. The location quickly became the focus of a campaign highlighting the company’s history of anti-LGBTQ donations.

The location opened last weekend in the Oracle shopping center within the English town of Reading. However, the center publicly announced that it wouldn’t extend Chick fil-A’s lease beyond its current six month agreement. As a result, the restaurant will have to relocate elsewhere next April.

Related: If you’re boycotting Chick-fil-A, why aren’t you protesting Adidas & Kanye West?

The announcement follows the spearheading of a campaign by the LGBTQ group Reading Pride U.K. called “Get the Chick Out.”

The campaign mentioned that Chick fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy has merely been hidden away by the company’s PR handlers after the massive amount of bad press following Cathy’s 2012 statements against same-sex marriage.

“They hired a PR company, and he has not been quoted since,” a statement released by Reading Pride U.K. wrote. “There is no record we can find to suggest his views have changed.”

Reading Pride U.K. pointed out that as recently as 2017 Chick fil-A has donated $1.6 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a group which opposes same-sex marriage, and to The Salvation Army, a group with its own history of anti-LGBTQ actions.

The group also mentions that the restaurant’s founder — the current CEO’s father, Truett Cathy — donated money to anti-gay groups like the Marriage & Family Foundation, the Georgia Family Council and the ex-gay therapy group Exodus International.

Reading Pride U.K. has pledged to continue protesting against Chick fil-A’s Reading restaurant until its last day. In fact, they’ll protest the location tomorrow.

Twitter commenters have crowed about the protestors being “intolerant” and have Islamaphobically asked why protestors haven’t targeted anti-gay mosques in the U.K., but both criticisms miss the point.

Our community doesn’t have to tolerate those who are intolerant of our existence and full equality. Furthermore, neither all mosques nor Islam in general are anti-LGBTQ. The Quran itself says nothing against LGBTQ people, and Muslims are actually more tolerant of homosexuality and same-sex marriage than even some Christians (in America anyway).

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