The UK shopping center where the nation’s first Chick-fil-A restaurant opened on October 10, announced this week that the anti-LGBTQ chicken franchise’s lease would not be renewed because of backlash from the community and calls for a boycott by Reading Pride, the local LGBTQ rights group.
Said the shopping center in a statement: “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.”
The BBC adds: “Reading Pride said The Oracle’s 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’. But the organisation said it would continue to campaign against the outlet until it left.”
Despite a pledge to change a few years back due to nationwide bad publicity, the restaurant chain has not stopped its giving to anti-LGBTQ groups and a report published earlier this year showed it has actually increased.
Think Progress reports that it gave $1.8 million in 2017 to three groups that actively work against LGBTQ people: ‘The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is a religious organization that seeks to spread an anti-LGBTQ message to college athletes and requires a strict “sexual purity” policy for its employees that bars any “homosexual acts.” Paul Anderson Youth Home, a “Christian residential home for trouble youth,” teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is “rage against Jesus Christ and His values. The Salvation Army has a long record of opposing legal protections for LGBTQ Americans and at the time of the donations had a written policy of merely complying with local “relevant employment laws.” The organization’s website has since changed to indicate a national policy of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.’
In 2012 after Chick Fil-A executives promised to stop supporting anti-gay organizations, Cathy continued to show his support to anti-gay groups, and later stated that the company had never agreed to end its anti-gay funding at all.
Cathy also remained a vocal opponent of marriage equality. Most infamously in June of 2012, Cathy said the company was guilty as charged in its support of so-called pro-family and pro-marriage (re: anti-gay) organizations. A month later he told the Baptist Press, “We are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’”