Christian-led American family restaurant chain Chick-fil-A will lose its first British branch after lobbying by the LGBT community. The family-owned restaurant chain, known for its Christian ethos and alleged support for socially conservative causes, has some 2,400 branches across the United States, but The Oracle shopping centre in Reading, England, has announced it will not renew its British pilot restaurant’s lease after its first six months are up — barely a week after its grand opening. The Oracle said not renewing Chick-fil-A’s lease would be “the right thing to do” after lobby group Reading Pride complained about the restaurant chain’s donations to Christian charities the Salvation Army, the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which they characterised as anti-LGBTQ, according to the BBC.
The company caused something of a furore among left-liberals in 2011 when its chairman voiced his belief that marriage was between a man and a woman, and that he therefore could not support moves to legalise same-sex marriage, but a spokesman recently told the BBC that its focus nowadays was “youth and education”, and that it “never donated with the purpose of supporting a social or political agenda.”
“There are 145,000 people – black, white; gay, straight; Christian, non-Christian – who represent Chick-fil-A,” the spokesman protested.
Unmoved by such defences, The Oracle has now confirmed that while it “always look[s] to introduce new concepts for our customers… 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.”
Reading Pride’s so-called “Get the Cluck Out” protests were supported by local politicians from the far-left Labour Party, which serves as the main opposition to Britain’s governing Conservative Party at the national level, including Councillor John Ennis, Councillor Sophia James, and Councillor Sarah Hacker, who also acts as a trustee of the LGBTQ group.
The party has become increasingly hostile to the United States in general and American social conservatives in particular under the leadership of 70-year-old socialist Jeremy Corbyn, who fancies himself as a modern-day “anti-imperialist” after decades on the fringes of mainstream politics, agitating against the United States and, above all, the State of Israel, and for left-wing figures such as Cuba’s Fidel Casto and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.