Chick-fil-A, a US fast-food chain run on Christian principles, is defending itself from an outcry by LGBT activists following the opening of its first UK store.
Some campaigners are planning to protest outside the new restaurant in Reading, with one even suggesting Parliament should intervene.
In 2012, the company’s CEO, Dan Cathy, stated that the company supported the “biblical definition of the family unit”. It has since donated money to Christian charities which support traditional marriage.
The US company’s corporate purpose is: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us”.
It is open Monday to Saturday because its founder “saw the importance of closing on Sundays so that he and his employees could set aside one day to rest and worship if they choose”.
The new trial outlet in Reading’s Oracle shopping centre follows the same pattern.
Reading Pride are holding a protest on Saturday. It said: “We respect everyone’s freedom to eat where they choose, however, we ask the LGBT+ community (including its allies) to boycott the chain in Reading.”
UK Pride Organisers’ Network member Stephen Ireland said people would be shocked that Chick-fil-A “is allowed to hit the UK high street without openly answering the concerns of the LGBT community”.
“Parliament should be questioning businesses like this that work against the values of our amazing country.”
A Chick-fil-A spokesman said: “We hope our guests in the U.K. will see that Chick-fil-A is a restaurant company focused on serving great food and hospitality, and does not have a social or political agenda.
“We are represented by more than 145,000 people from different backgrounds and beliefs, and we welcome everyone.”
Chick-fil-A is the third biggest restaurant chain in the USA, behind Starbucks and McDonald’s.