UK’s First Chick-Fil-A Announces Closure Over Anti-LGBTQ+ Owner
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Chick-Fil-A, an American fast food chain specialising in chicken sandwiches, will be having a short stay in the UK following backlash over its owners stance on LGBTQ+ rights.
The first UK branch opened in The Oracle shopping centre in Reading on October 10th, but eight days later the chain announced their six-month lease would not be extended.
The fast-food chain will cease trading at its first UK outlet amid a row over donations to anti-LGBTQ+ groups.
The LGBTQ+ community criticised the chain for donating millions of dollars to anti-LGBTQ+ groups such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Paul Anderson Youth Home and the Salvation Army. Campaigners from LGBT organisation, Reading Pride, said all three organisations have a reputation of being hostile to LGBT rights.
However in a statement previously given to the BBC, Chick-Fil-A said: "Our giving has always focused on youth and education. We have never donated with the purpose of supporting a social or political agenda."
Welcoming the decision to cease trading, Reading Pride said the decision was 'good news', adding the six-month period was a 'reasonable request to allow for re-settlement and notice for employees that have moved from other jobs'.
The Oracle said: "We always look to introduce new concepts for our customers, however, we have decided on this occasion that the right thing to do is to only allow Chick-Fil-A to trade with us for the initial six-month pilot period, and not to extend the lease any further."
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