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Reading Pride opposes the opening of anti-LGBT chicken restaurant

Reading Pride plans “Get the Chick Out” to Protest Chick-fil-A setting up in Reading and the UK.

Reading, Berkshire, (15 October 2019) – Reading Pride, home of the Love Unites festival, one of the Thames Valley’s largest free festivals is staunchly opposed to the opening of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Reading.

The chain’s ethos and moral stance goes completely against Reading Prides values. We live in a progressive country that has legalised same sex marriage for some years and continues to strive towards equality.

Whilst the Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s comments were from 2012 (Cathy was quoted as saying that he believes in the “biblical definition of the family unit”). They hired a PR company, and he has not been quoted since. There is no record that we can find to suggest his views have changed.

They have also set up a Chick-fil-A foundation that still supports questionable charities, however, statements and views are much more measured, and thought out, as one would expect involving a PR company.

We have put our issue to the Chick-fil-A chain and have yet to receive their response.

We respect everyone’s freedom to eat where they choose, however, we ask the LGBT+ community (including allies) to boycott the chain in Reading. We are planning a protest on Broad Street Reading to highlight this company’s views and to ask the people of Reading and beyond to support us to Get the Chick Out.

Since out post advising the below details and our position in this matter; the support from the community have been largely positive. At time of writing this press release, the post has reached over 22,500 people. And there is large support for the protest planned outside the Broad Street Mall entrance of The Oracle on Saturday 19th Oct from 11am.

The Chair of Reading Pride, Paul Britt, said:

As a community organisation we listened to the community and they were very loud, and very clear that they do not want this organisation in Reading. The protest that has been organised is an appropriate and just response, and we hope that we can see the removal of this outlet from our town. We will welcome a company with a better track record of LGBT rights in its’ place.

Background Information:

  • Chick-fil-A chain donated $1.6 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, with their statement of faith being, “We believe God’s design for sexual intimacy is to be expressed only within the context of marriage. God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5- 6; Mark 10:6-9; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9)”*. As well as $150,000 to the Salvation Army in 2017. [1]

  • Cathy’s father and the founder of Chick-fil-A, donated money to a number of anti- gay charities like the Marriage & Family Foundation, the Georgia Family Council, and Exodus International, a group that promotes conversion therapy. [2]

  • Chick-fil-A funded the National Christian Foundation [4], who then paid a preacher named Lou Engle to go to Uganda, where he talked to Ugandan lawmakers [5]. At the time they were trying to pass the “kill the gays” bill [6]. Lou Engle encouraged them and called them “righteous and courageous.” Chick-fil-A also funded the Family Research Council, which tried to stop the US government from denouncing Uganda for the kill the gays bill [7]. So Chick-fil-A literally funded efforts to enact mass executions of gay people, more than once, and now those efforts have come to fruition.

Sources:

  1. https://www.businessinsider.com/chick-fil-a-explains-donations-groups-considered-anti-gay-2019-5
  2. https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/3/21/18275850/chick-fil-a-anti-lgbtq-donations
  3. https://www.businessinsider.com/heres-how-much-money-chick-fil-a-gives-to-anti-gay-groups-2012-7
  4. https://twocare.org/the-national-christian-foundation-anti-lgbt-funding-encyclopedia
  5. https://www.queerty.com/at-last-brave-american-evangelist-lou-engle-takes-to-uganda-to-commend-backers-of-kill-the-gays-20100503
  6. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/family-research-council-lobbied-congress-on-resolution-denouncing-ugandan-anti-gay-bill
  7. https://www.fca.org/aboutus/who-we-are/statement-of-faith