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Get the cluck out: Gay rights group claims victory as UK’s first Chick-Fil-A shut down

Get the cluck out: Gay rights group claims victory as UK’s first Chick-Fil-A shut down
Gay rights campaigners in Reading, England, are celebrating after a protest campaign seemingly led to the closure of the UK’s first and only Chick-Fil-A restaurant, all over its American founder’s supposed anti-LGBT views.

Just days after the restaurant started dishing out chicken sandwiches and waffle fries from The Oracle shopping center in Reading, management of the center announced on Saturday that Chick-Fil-A’s six-month lease at the mall would not be extended, saying that expelling the chain was “the right thing to do.”

The restaurant had been picketed by protesters, not for its fattening fast food, but for its American owners’ supposed anti-LGBT views. Gay rights group Reading Pride had led a protest campaign against Chick-Fil-A and were joined by local Labour Party councillors in calling for an end to “bigotry and hatred on your high street.”

Though Reading Pride stated “we respect everyone’s freedom to eat wherever they choose,” the group nonetheless celebrated The Oracle’s decision not to extend Chick-Fil-A’s lease.

A spokesman for the restaurant stated that the six-month lease was always intended to be temporary, as the company looks to expand internationally.

Though relatively unknown in the UK, Chick-Fil-A is an iconic American institution. Founded in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1967, the company operates more than 2,300 restaurants in 47 states. It has been voted America’s favorite restaurant chain for the last four years in a row, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

The management’s religious beliefs, however, have proven controversial. Founded by a devout Southern Baptist, S. Truett Cathy, Chick-Fil-A doesn’t open on Sundays or Christian holidays, and includes a pledge to "to glorify God” in its corporate mission statement.

The company has donated millions of dollars to Christian charities that oppose same-sex marriage and CEO Dan Cathy sparked a boycott in 2012 when he publicly stated his support for the “biblical definition of the family unit.” Cathy also claimed that gay marriage was "inviting God's judgment on our nation.” 

Also on rt.com Chick-fil-A sales have more than doubled since LGBT boycott began

With liberals fuming, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey even apologized for eating Chick-Fil-A last year. However, despite the boycott campaign, Click-Fil-A’s annual sales have more than doubled since 2012.

Gay protesters in Reading have claimed victory, but vowed to continue their demonstrations outside the restaurant over the next six months. Meanwhile, the campaign has drawn the ire of some commentators, with some suggesting the critics could simply "just not eat there."

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