Those fried chicken and pickle sandwiches will have to come from somewhere else, as Chick-fil-A's first location in the United Kingdom will shut its doors early next year when its six-month lease is up.
Chick-fil-A, which has 2,400 U.S. locations, opened shop at the Oracle Mall in Reading on Oct. 10, and almost immediately, LGBTQ activists called for a boycott. The company has donated to organizations that aim to reverse LGBTQ rights and are against same-sex marriage, and in a statement, the advocacy group Reading Pride said 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."
The Oracle Mall said not renewing the lease was "the right thing to do," NBC News reports, but Chick-fil-A claimed in a statement to The Washington Post that the plan was always to close in six months. Reading Pride CEO Martin Cooper isn't buying it, asking in an email to NBC News, "What business would not stay if they were successful and profitable? The point is, they've not been given the option to stay by the landlords, The Oracle." Catherine Garcia