The first ever Chick-fil-A outlet to be established on UK soil is set to close after being targeted by a pro-LGBT group.
Ever since the popular purveyor of fried chicken opened its doors in the city of Reading, gay rights activists flooded it with complaints.
Now, barely a week after opening, the city center mall “The Oracle,” announced that it will not be renewing the company’s lease to the restaurant premises. “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,” the Oracle said in a statement, according to the BBC, noting that it seeks to “offer an inclusive space where everyone is welcome.”
The Oracle’s management staff clearly turned a blind eye to the fact that Chick-fil-A has some of the most generous employment opportunities available in catering, including scholarships and management schemes, and boasts a staff that is widely celebrated for going above and beyond in their service. Simply put, CFA staff are some of the friendliest and most welcoming in the entire fast food industry.
What caused the restaurant to close?
The chief instigator of the sudden closure was a group named Reading Pride, who believe that the company’s donations to organizations such as The Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army — organizations that support traditional marriage — is utterly unacceptable.
And so, the group decided, Chick-fil-A must be immediately canceled — indeed, the first batch of chicken had barely been dunked into the fryer when Reading Pride announced a call boycott. From that point, it was all but over for the popular American chain.
“We respect everyone’s freedom to eat where they choose,” they qualified, “however, we ask the LGBT+ community (including its allies) to boycott the chain in Reading.”
But the Chick-fil-A haters didn’t stop there — in an astonishing statement, another LGBT group suggested that the British government should investigate the chain before allowing them to open up any UK-based restaurants. “Parliament should be questioning businesses like this that work against the values of our amazing country,” UK Pride Organisers’ Network member Stephen Ireland said, according to Christian Institute.
The mere fact that Chick-fil-A was “allowed to hit the UK high street without openly answering the concerns of the LGBT community,” was incomprehensible to them.
Reading Pride confirmed that, despite the news, they would still be holding their “Get the Chick Out” protest on Saturday.
Not everyone agreed with the group action, however.
“The shutting down of the Chick-Fil-A in Reading shows how much intimidation power the Alphabet Activists currently wield in this country,” Joshua D Jones, an American pastor and author based in the United Kingdom, told Faithwire.
“In America in the 1950s the pro-McCarthyists could shut down a business by claiming (often with weak evidence) that the owner was communist. Today that label has been replaced with ‘homophobic’ or ‘transphobic’.”
Jones went on to warn that “just as most of those who were swept up in the accusatory hype of McCarthyism would later look back in shame at their participation,” businesses like the Oracle “will one day regret participating with the bully tactics that the sexual and gender revolutionaries are now employing.”
On Facebook, Jones has been urging his social media followers to write to The Oracle to voice their displeasure at the decision.
“[You can let them know you disagree with shutting down the Chick-Fil-A by ringing or emailing here: 0118 965 9000; COMMENTS@THEORACLE.COM,” he added.
Many replied to Jones to express their concern. “So now donating to the Salvation Army is an affront to LGBT+. Where is all this heading?” one wrote. “Those who preach tolerance are intolerant of those they call intolerant,” another added.
Chick-fil-A, the third-largest in the USA and a historically Christian company, responded with grace to the bad press. “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,” a spokesman said before the lease was terminated. “We are represented by more than 145,000 people from different backgrounds and beliefs, and we welcome everyone.”
Speaking previously to the BBC, Chick-fil-A doubled down on its commitment to diversity and equality in the causes it supports. “Our giving has always focused on youth and education. We have never donated with the purpose of supporting a social or political agenda,” they said. “There are 145,000 people – black, white; gay, straight; Christian, non-Christian – who represent Chick-fil-A.”
But the writing was on the wall. For the simple sin of giving away millions of dollars to charitable causes, the popular outlet has been beaten down by the intolerant mob and will be forced to close its doors to the Brits who, unfortunately, never got the chance to taste and see that it was good.