Atlanta-based restaurant chain Chick-fil-A is being forced out of its first-ever location in the United Kingdom because of pressure from homosexual activists.
Reading Pride, an LGBTQ activist group, has been protesting the recent opening of a Chick-fil-A in The Oracle shopping centre in Reading, England, and representatives of the mall’s leasing company announced it has opted to not extend the company’s lease beyond its initial six-month run. The restaurant opened Oct. 10 in Reading as a trial run for U.K. expansion, Chick-fil-A said, and had been well received by customers.
According to a report by The Christian Institute, a conservative organization in the U.K., one protestor even suggested that British Parliament “should be questioning businesses like this that work against the values of our amazing country.”
But Chick-fil-A had a different message: “We hope our guests in the U.K. 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.
“We are represented by more than 145,000 people from different backgrounds and beliefs, and we welcome everyone.”
England-based pro-life leader and Christian activist Obianuju Ekeocha tweeted on news of the lease ending, “All [because] of unfounded outrage! So for the next 6 months I’ll do my best to eat at this @ChickfilA in Reading.”
In 2012, Chick-fil-A came under fire from left-wing groups after the company, founded by Baptist Sunday school teacher Truett Cathy, was ridiculed for giving to Christian nonprofits such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army. At the time, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy responded to questions about the company’s views on homosexual marriage by saying Chick-fil-A supports “the biblical definition of the family unit.”
The company’s purpose statement is, “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us.”
Chick-fil-A trails only McDonald’s and Starbucks in U.S. fast-food revenue and is known widely for its emphasis on quality food and exemplary customer service.