Now they’re going after chicken restaurants

Protesters shut down Chick-fil-A’s first UK outlet eight days after it opened.



Chick-fil-A is America’s third-largest restaurant chain. And in recent months it has found itself caught up in the US culture war.

Its devout Christian owners have, over the years, made charitable donations to various Christian organisations. And many of these organisations have, let’s just say, less-than-impeccable LGBT credentials, particularly on same-sex marriage.

It has thus become a target for boycotts and protests. Last year, a university in New Jersey blocked a Chick-fil-A outlet being opened on campus because the chain was ‘widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ+ community’. There is currently a lawsuit going on in San Antonio over its airport’s refusal to allow Chick-fil-A to open up shop there.

Now this nonsense has come to the UK. Earlier this month, Chick-fil-A opened its first UK outlet, in the Oracle shopping centre in Reading. And it soon fell fowl of the outrage mob. Following protests from gay-rights groups, the Oracle announced it would not extend the company’s six-month lease.

LGBT charity Reading Pride, which has been protesting outside the premises, said in a statement: ‘We respect everyone’s freedom to eat where they choose — however, we ask the LGBT+ community (including allies) to boycott the chain in Reading.’

For their part, Chick-fil-A’s owners have said that ‘our giving has always focused on youth and education’ and that they ‘never donated with the purpose of supporting a social or political agenda… Chick-fil-A is a restaurant company focused on serving great food and hospitality, and does not have a social or political agenda.’

But in today’s intolerant climate, it seems any perceived representative of more old-fashioned social views – even a fast-food restaurant – must be raged against. These poultry protests will do precisely nothing to improve the lot of LGBT people, but they will help set a precedent that says some issues are simply beyond discussion.

Picture by: Getty.

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Jonathan Swift

25th October 2019 at 9:05 pm

I hate Chick-fil-A boycotts because the lines always get longer as people show their support for Chick-fil-A.

Jonathan Swift

25th October 2019 at 9:02 pm

If you don’t like the politics of Chick-fil-A’s owners, the visit one on Sunday and rejoice that they are closed!

Ven Oods

23rd October 2019 at 2:30 pm

If I were a chicken, I’d be thinking ‘One down, umpteen thousand to go.’
But if I fancied eating a chicken in Reading, I’d feel thwarted.

Dean 61

22nd October 2019 at 10:58 pm

“We respect everyone’s freedom to eat where they choose — however, we ask the LGBT+ community (including allies) to boycott the chain in Reading.”

But what about the nearby Asian takeaway whose owner thinks that homosexuals should be thrown from the top of tower blocks?

The bizarre alliance between the LGBT community and the Muslim faith is ever-perplexing

Ed Turnbull

23rd October 2019 at 9:31 am

The apparent alliance between the alphabet soup community and islam doesn’t perplex me. The LBGT!”£XYZDEF@@@ bunch are operating on the doctrine of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”: they see muslims as an oppressed people (hmm? don’t look very oppressed in Saudi or Pakistan do they?) – tools they can use to attain the bright sunlit uplands of the progressive utopia. They will, of course, discover that their exotic little pets are not particularly biddable, and apt to reward them with free-fall skydiving lessons. Sans parachute, of course.

The Marxists in Iran learnt this lesson after they helped Khomeini’s goons depose the Shah. And should islam ever gain the upper hand in these lands the alphabet soup crowd will learn it too. Have people forgotten the old adage about taking care over the length of one’s cutlery when supping with Beelzebub?

Jonathan Marshall

22nd October 2019 at 8:51 pm

Wouldn’t it be nice if, just for once, some company or organisation being lobbied by a tiny minority of shrieking activists just told them to go and boil their heads, instead of caving in EVERY SINGLE TIME?

Christian Petersen

23rd October 2019 at 1:30 am

I’m waiting for someone to show that courage. I would stand behind any company’s willingness to disregard the protest of a few, for fear of the online backlash.

Danny Rees

22nd October 2019 at 7:15 pm

Pfft bet they wouldn’t go after Chick-fil-A if they were owned by Muslims.

Am I right people?

Jonathan Marshall

22nd October 2019 at 8:53 pm

They wouldn’t dare, despite the (shall we say) “interesting” attitude that religion has to the LGBTQIWXYZ mob.

Danny Rees

22nd October 2019 at 9:50 pm

They’d be too scared of being called racist innit?

Danny Rees

22nd October 2019 at 9:53 pm

I wonder what these chicken shops owned by Muslims reckon to gay rights and gay marriage.

I might go in my regular local one and ask him.

T Zazoo

22nd October 2019 at 5:19 pm

Chick-fil-A opened its first UK outlet, in the Oracle shopping centre in Reading. And it soon fell fowl of the outrage mob.

As this isn’t the Guardian I assume that ‘fell fowl’ was a deliberate subtle joke ?


22nd October 2019 at 7:31 pm

Probably. Would have been subtler still had it not been underlined by deliberate misspelling

Danny Rees

22nd October 2019 at 9:52 pm

Everyone’s outraged these days.

Just look at the damned fuss over Christmas cups in Starbucks every year.

Mr C

22nd October 2019 at 4:43 pm

Chick-fil-A’s stance on LGBT issues is rather more liberal than that of Abu Dhabi, which owns a 50% stake in the Oracle mall, via its sovereign wealth fund.

Stephen J

22nd October 2019 at 5:11 pm

Well done Mr.C that’s a cracker.

Jerry Owen

22nd October 2019 at 6:36 pm

Very astute !
An LGBT woman was interviewed on BBC’s South Today, she alleged that the chain funded anti LGBT groups , she was not challenged on this assertion by the interviewer. I suspected this was a lie, and now it appears to be the case.
‘ Is that true or did you hear it on the BBC’ .. seems to be a fair assessment of the corporation now !

Stephen J

22nd October 2019 at 3:23 pm

Personally I don’t always want a BLT when I go out, sometimes I wants chicken!

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