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Protests Force British Chick-fil-A to Close After Six Months

Protests Force British Chick-fil-A to Close After Six Months

Protests against the fast food chain, which has a history of supporting anti-LGBTQ causes, led a landlord to say the lease won't be extended.

The first Chick-fil-A in the United Kingdom will shut down after six months following protests by LGBTQ activists.

A Reading, England location has seen a rise in calls for a boycott over the company's history of anti-LGBTQ donations, the BBC reports. Now, the landlord for the location said it won't let the tenant stay after its six-month lease runs out.

"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," reads a statement from The Oracle shopping center.

Chick-fil-A has maintained its donations do not support homophobic causes.

"Our giving has always focused on youth and education. We have never donated with the purpose of supporting a social or political agenda," the company said in a statement to the BBC. "There are 145,000 people--black, white; gay, straight; Christian, non-Christian--who represent Chick-fil-A."

That's a position the company has espoused before, but the company has continued to donate to groups with strictly anti-LGBTQ views. Chick-fil-A in 2017 gave $1.8 million to three such groups. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes enforces a "sexual purity" policy on members that specifically bars "homosexual acts." The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches troubles youth housed there that "homosexuality is wrong" and same-sex marriage is a "rage against Jesus Christ and his values." And the Salvation Army has a checkered past with LGBTQ issues as well.

Chick-fil-A's charitable arm, the WinShape Foundation, also has a history of supporting more explicitly anti-LGBTQ like Focus on the Family, Family Research Council and Exodus International.

Notably, many homophobic politicians have made sure to closely associate themselves with Chick-fil-A. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in July had food from the chain present as he signed a "Save Chick-fil-A" bill that prohibits discrimination against companies based on donations to religious organizations.

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