Shopping Center Won’t Renew Lease For Chick-Fil-A Restaurant

(image via Chick-fil-A official website)

Following the opening of the first UK branch of Chick-fil-A restaurants last week, the eatery is already facing closure.

The controversial fast-food chain, which has attracted negative attention for years due to donations to anti-LGBTQ organizations, opened its first outlet at The Oracle shopping center in Reading, Berkshire.

When the news was announced on a local Facebook page, the comments got pretty heated with many – familiar with the restaurant’s history of supporting homophobic organizations – chiming in.

“Not a company I would want to support regardless of what their food tastes like!” wrote one commenter. “Shame they are choosing our fabulously diverse town to ‘test’ in!”

“I totally agree with you!” added another. “I’m American and cannot support this business. It is anti-gay… anti-LGBT.”

“You have literally got to be kidding me,” declared a Reading resident. “You do know just how blatantly homophobic they are? I’m ashamed of all involved in allowing this to happen, honestly. Utterly unacceptable.”

“Vile won’t be eating there sadly until they stop their discriminatory and hate-filled policies!”

A spokesperson for Chick-fil-A issued a statement following the opening:

“We opened a pilot licensed location at The Oracle Centre of Reading on October 10 and we are pleased by customer response. Chick-fil-A is a restaurant company focused on serving great food and hospitality. We are represented by more than 145,000 people from different backgrounds and beliefs and welcome everyone.”

But today, the BBC is reporting a spokeswoman for The Oracle shopping center says “the right thing to do” was to not extend the fast-food outlet’s lease past the “six-month pilot period.”

“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.”

After statements in 2012 by CEO Dan Cathy who responded “Guilty as charged” when asked about opposing marriage equality resulted in much unwanted bad press, the company shared on its Facebook page it would change course and focus on chicken leaving the “policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.” 

But ThinkProgress reports the company has continued to donate to anti-LGBTQ organizations like the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

(source: BBC, ThinkProgress)

6 thoughts on “Shopping Center Won’t Renew Lease For Chick-Fil-A Restaurant”

  1. When anyone asks, “but isn’t that their right?” I say, “Sure it is. But that doesn’t mean that it has to go consequence-free. If the company wants to publicly defend funding organizations that work against the rights of LGBTQ people – and who cares that it’s for religious reasons – they’re fighting AGAINST the rights of LGBTQ people no matter the reason – then yes, that’s their right, and yes, doing it can have consequences because it’s other people’s right to call them out on how bad that is, and to deprive them of business and money that is being used in part, after all, against the rights of LGBTQ people. Is it a hate group? I define a hate group as any group that works to subject people to unfair and unequal treatment based on who that group is. If you work or contribute to work that undermines the rights of gay people, then yes, that is a hate act, and if you’re a group doing it, then yes, it’s a hate group. This isn’t difficult. I think people like to throw a false argument up: How can you be FOR diversity yet against groups who want to limit the rights of gay people – that’s their belief, so support diversity! NO! That’s a false argument. IT’s completely consistent to support diversity and to fight against groups that work against diversity. I agree with anonymous above. Fight the right fight. And what side is right? Stand on the side of love and respect for your fellow humans. It’s that simple.

  2. Ok, let’s talk about this. I’m gay. I worked at Chick-fil-A for 8 years, and I personally know several local franchisees who are wonderful people. I also know they have LGBTQ franchisees. I personally don’t care for boycotts like this because 1. I don’t think they are effective, and 2. I don’t agree with punishing local franchisees, their workers, and families or taking money away from my local economy. Here is what I really want to talk about though: people have a problem because the CFA Foundation (their charitable wing) donates to the Salvation Army and FCA who have been labeled hate groups. I personally don’t consider these organizations hate groups. Both are religious organizations, who have a particular stance on homosexuality (unsurprisingly as they are Christian orgs.) But isn’t that their right? I’m also torn because I know both of these organizations do wonderful work. The Salvation Army provides much needed social services in communities (I’ve worked with them locally to help prevent utility terminations for people). And FCA meets a need for Christian athletes. So, I guess I’m wondering this: if we label every organization that believes differently than us a hate group, doesn’t it water down the intent of the label? If everything is a hate group then nothing is. What is the criteria? I know there are some TERRIBLE hate groups out there. I just don’t think these two groups, or Chick-fil-A, are. I welcome discussion, just my POV.

    • God bless you,we need more people like you,iam a Christian who doesn’t agree with the pride beliefs,but I will love and pray for them,Leave any judgement to our creator God.We all sin and fall short of His love.Sin is sin,adultry,fornacation,murder,hate ,etc etc,why label one as being worse.While we don’t have to accept peoples lifestyles,we are to love all men.Jesus dying on the cross said forgive them father they know not what they do.Come on people smile on your brother let us love one another right now.

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