VENTURA, Calif. — The principal of a high school in California has banned the booster club for the school from selling Chick-fil-A sandwiches for its football fundraiser due to the company’s stance on the institution of marriage.
Val Wyatt, principal of Ventura High School, recently told the Ventura County Star that she wanted to refrain from using outside vendors, but also cited her concerns about Chick-fil-A’s opposition to same-sex “marriage.”
“With their political stance on gay rights and because the students of Ventura High School and their parents would be at the event, I didn’t want them on,” she stated.
Trudy Tuttle Ariaga, superintendent of the Ventura Unified School District, agreed with Wyatt.
“We value inclusivity and diversity on our campus, and all our events and activities are going to adhere to our mission,” she said.
But local Chick-fil-A owner Robert Shaffer, who had offered to donate 200 meals for the fundraiser, which sought to raise $1600 for the school’s football team, told reporters that the company doesn’t have a position on the matter.
“Chick-fil-A doesn’t have a stance on gay marriage,” Shaffer told the Star. “We treat everyone who walks through our doors, regardless of their religion or sexual orientation, with honor, dignity and respect.”
Wyatt and Ariaga were referring to statements made by company president Dan Cathy in recent years surrounding the issue of homosexuality. In 2012, Cathy told Baptist Press that he is “very much supporting of the family—the Biblical definition of the family unit.”
“We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives,” he said. “We give God thanks for that.”
According to the Washington Post, Cathy had also stated on a radio broadcast that he believed that the promotion of homosexual “marriage” was evoking the wrath of God upon America.
“As it relates to society in general, I think we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’” he opined. “And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about.”
Last year, after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Cathy Tweeted, “Sad day for our nation. [The] founding fathers would be ashamed of our generation to abandon wisdom of the ages re: cornerstone of strong societies.” He later deleted the post.
Following initial uproar about the matter in 2012, including assertions that the company donates to organizations that oppose same-sex “marriage,” the company issued a statement outlining that it had never sought to donate to groups that speak against homosexuality, and that “[g]oing forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
“For many months now, Chick-fil-A’s corporate giving has been mischaracterized,” the fast food chain wrote in a separate news release. “Our intent is not to support political or social agendas.”
It also pointed to a document entitled “Who We Are,” which noted that “[t]here are many diverse viewpoints and opinions among those associated with Chick-fil-A,” and that “[i]f someone in Chick-fil-A offers a personal viewpoint, they do not presume to speak for everyone.”