Following Boycotts, First Chick-Fil-A Location in United Kingdom Closes


Jenna Miller, Editor in Chief

Chick-Fil-A is known for juicy fried and grilled chicken nuggets and sandwiches, served with crispy waffle fries which are very well-liked. However, this fast food establishment is known for more than just their food.

The company is run by devout Christians who perpetuate their beliefs as they run the company, which includes their policy that all locations must be closed on Sundays for the Sabbath. They also have caused waves of controversy for decades following their support of anti-LGBTQ+ organizations – but it was not until just recently that the actions of Chick-Fil-A led to a massive storm which erupted with boycotts, even leading to the first location in the United Kingdom of the popular fast-food franchise to shut down for six months.

The Chick-Fil-A Foundation’s donations to the National Christian Foundation and WinShape Foundation, which are known for their anti-LGBTQ actions, have led to the company having somewhat of a bad reputation among the LGBTQ+ community. A rumor on Twitter about the National Christian Foundation supporting the passing of a Ugandan bill intended to legalize imposing the death penalty on LGBTQ+ citizens did not help Chick-Fil-A’s reputation, even though the rumor does have some falseness tied into it. It was for these reasons that Reading Pride, a local LGBTQ advocacy group in the town of Reading, England, begun a boycott against Chick-Fil-A. 

“The chain’s ethos and moral stance goes completely against our values, and that of the U.K. as we are a progressive country that has legalized same sex marriage for some years, and continues to strive toward equality,” said Reading Pride in a statement published October 10. “We respect everyone’s freedom to eat where they choose, however, we ask the LGBT+ community (including allies) to boycott the chain in Reading.”

The boycott was a success—hundreds of protesters showed up, and continued to protest until the restaurant shut down. After only eight days in the shopping center, the Chick-Fil-A location, the first of its kind in the UK, closed its doors. 

Some were certainly upset because they wouldn’t be able to try the delicious chicken, but the protesters and their allies were happy because they did not want a restaurant associated with anti-LGBTQ+ actions in their town with such a strong LGBTQ+ presence.