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Local LGBTQ advocates and allies had called for a boycott of the branch, which opened October 10 at The Oracle shopping center in Reading, England. The center announced it would not be renewing Chick-fil-A’s lease only eight days after the eatery’s grand opening.
“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,” said an Oracle spokesperson.
Reading Pride, a local LGBTQ organization, called the decision “good news” but will continue to campaign against the chain until the Oracle location officially closes in six months.
According to Berkshire Live, Reading diners were “deeply divided” and engaged in a “fierce debate” about the opening.
Chick-fil-A chairman and CEO Dan Cathy famously spoke out against marriage equality in 2012 and admitted that he backed anti-marriage equality initiatives. According to the Christian-owned company’s tax filings, Chick-fil-A gave $1.8 million in 2017 to three groups with anti-LGBTQ records, contradicting previous claims from execs that they would decrease problematic donations.
A number of airports and universities in recent years have fought to ban the eatery because of the company’s anti-LGBTQ donations and values. Last month LGBTQ advocates and allies protested Chick-fil-A’s first international retail location in Toronto.
Chick-fil-A is set to become the third-largest fast food chain in the U.S., behind only Starbucks and McDonald’s.