The last Chick-fil-A restaurant in the U.K. definitively closed its doors this past month.
Last year, a Chick-fil-A restaurant opened at the Oracle shopping center in Reading, England. This led to protests in October because of the fast food chain’s years of donations to anti-LGBTQ causes.
Because of the protests, Oracle said that it would not renew Chick-fil-A’s lease after its initial six-month period was up. On March 20, the restaurant closed for good.
In a statement, Reading Pride Executive Director Martin Copper said that they opposed the Chick-fil-A because of it was “funding organizations that advocate anti-LGBT+ activities.”
He said the group “engaged with the Oracle general manager,” which agreed not renew the restaurant’s lease.
“The subsequent protest was to inform the consumers about what we discovered,” Copper said. “We had done this peacefully.”
“The outcome is correct.”
The protests were called “Get the Chick Out” and drew attention to Chick-fil-A’s donations to the ex-gay organization Exodus International and the SPLC designated hate group Family Research Council, as well as more recent donations to the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, both of which promote discrimination against LGBTQ people.
In 2012, CEO Dan Cathy said that the company was “guilty as charged” when it comes to supporting “the biblical definition of the family unit.”
Copper said that Chick-fil-A wouldn’t even respond to Reading Pride.
Instead, the corporation released a statement that said: “We hope our guests in the UK will see that Chick-fil-A is a restaurant company focused on serving great food and hospitality, and does not have a social or political agenda.”
“This was not about [Chick-fil-A’s or its founder’s] beliefs, we’re not that thin skinned,” Copper added. “It was about their reported actions, that’s where we drew the line and decided to act.”