Chick-fil-A to close debut United Kingdom restaurant after LGBT backlash

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The chicken chain opened in Reading's Oracle shopping centre on 10 October, but a spokesperson for the centre told the BBC it has now decided not to extend the company's lease beyond its six-month pilot period.

A spokeswoman for the centre said "the right thing to do" was to not extend the restaurant's lease beyond the "six-month pilot period".

Cathy has openly said that America is "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", in a 2012 radio interview.

LGBT+ rights groups in Reading, including the organizers of Reading Pride, have been critical of the new Chick-fil-A branch in recent weeks.

A Chick-fil-A spokesperson, however, says the company always meant to only be at in Reading for that six month pilot. "What we have here is a restaurant owned by a family that has very backward beliefs that actively promote anti LGBT charities, which have sent preachers to Uganda to assist in the "kill the gays law".

But the organisation said it would continue to campaign against the outlet until it left.

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".

Chick-fil-A had previously told the BBC: "Our giving has always focused on youth and education".

Reading Pride organizers said that Saturday's protest will go ahead as planned-despite the store closing-"to advise where their money should go" as they believe Chick-fil-A will be "profiting from unsuspecting patrons" over the six-month tenure of its lease.

Chick-fil-A has launched another global storefront in Canada in September, which also drew a bevy of protestors over the same issues.

The Chick-fil-A Foundation released a statement appearing to respond to the ThinkProgress report, in which they asserted that they "do not have a political or social agenda".

"There are 145,000 people - black, white; gay, straight; Christian, non-Christian - who represent Chick-fil-A".

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