UK Chick-fil-A closing, shopping center will not extend.
After opening its first U.K. location in early October, Chick-fil-A has already announced that the restaurant will be closing at the end of the its six-month lease.
According to BBC, the fast food chain — which has faced criticism in the past for supporting anti-LGBTQ groups — recently opened in the Oracle shopping center in Reading, where it quickly received backlash from pride organizations.
Reading Pride, a local LGBTQ rights group, pressured the U.K. restaurant location and called for a boycott.
The group called Oracle’s decision to close the location “good news” and was a “reasonable request…to allow for re-settlement and notice for employees that have moved from other jobs,” BBC reported.
While Chick-fil-A remains the third-largest U.S. restaurant company by sales, according to CNBC, they continue to face controversy.
In March, the fast food company saw renewed scrutiny following a report from ThinkProgress, years after Chick-fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy made anti-LGBTQ comments in 2012.
According to tax documents obtained by the outlet, in 2017, the Chick-fil-A Foundation donated to groups with an alleged history of discrimination, including $1,653,416 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes requires a “sexual purity” policy for its employees, according to its job application, which states: “The Bible is clear in teaching on sexual sin including sex outside of marriage and homosexual acts. Neither heterosexual sex outside of marriage nor any homosexual act constitute an alternative lifestyle acceptable to God.”
Meanwhile, the Paul Anderson Youth Home allegedly “teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is ‘rage against Jesus Christ and His values,’” ThinkProgress reported.
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.”
“Our intention both at the corporate and restaurant level is to have a positive influence on our communities by donating to programs that benefit youth and education and are welcoming to all,” said Rodney Bullard, the Chick-fil-A Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and the Executive Director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation. “We are proud of the impact we’ve been able to make so far, and we have a lot yet to do.”
In their statement, the foundation did not deny that they had donated to the groups mentioned in the ThinkProgress report, but the statement also did not reference the groups’ alleged history of anti-LGBTQ behavior.
The foundation added that, as of June 2017, they “no longer support” the Paul Anderson Youth Home.