A California high school principal has banned the football booster club from selling Chick-fil-A sandwiches during a back-to-school night fundraiser because she disagrees about gay marriage with the president of the Atlanta-based fast food chain.
The principal who outlawed Chick-fil-A sandwiches is Val Wyatt of Ventura High School in the coastal town of Ventura, Calif.
“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 campus,” Wyatt said, according to CBS Los Angeles.
Wyatt said she is worried that the presence of the chicken sandwiches might offend someone.
The superintendent of the Ventura Unified School District Superintendent, Trudy Tuttle Arriaga, backed the decision.
“We value inclusivity and diversity on our campus and all of our events and activities are going to adhere to our mission,” Arriaga said in explaining the decision to exclude a chicken sandwich company because of the political beliefs of its president.
A student, Graham Wallace, also heartily endorsed the decision to ban Chick-fil-A over politics because gay students might exposed to the sandwiches.
“There are gay kids that go to our school, and for them it might be kind of weird,” Wallace said, according to the station.
The Chick-fil-A restaurant located in Ventura and its owner, Robert Shaffer, have donated $21,000 to the Ventura school district since the franchise first opened its doors.
The restaurant had planned to donate about 200 meals for the Ventura High School Football Booster Club to sell at the fundraiser. The booster club expected to raise about $1,600, which it would use for uniforms, food and other purchases.
A local parent, Michelle Cisneros, said she was infuriated by Wyatt’s decision. Her fury prompted her to complain to school district officials.
“Everybody is embraced,” Cisneros said, according to CBS Los Angeles. “And Chick-fil-A should have been allowed to be here.”
Shaffer, the local franchise owner, said his restaurant has no position on gay marriage.
“Chick-fil-A doesn’t have a stance on gay marriage,” Shaffer said, according to Fox News. “We treat everyone who walks through our doors, regardless of their religion or sexual orientation, with honor, dignity and respect.”
Nationally, hatred among some gay marriage advocates against Chick-fil-A runs deep because S. Truett Cathy, the now deceased founder of the fast-growing, fast-food goliath founder, famously opposed gay marriage.
Cathy’s son, Dan Cathy, the current Chick-fil-A CEO, said in a 2012 radio interview that same-sex marriage is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”
“I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about,” he added. (RELATED: Chick-Fil-A President: Gay Marriage Is ‘Inviting God’s Judgment On Our Nation’)
The Cathy family has donated extensively to groups which oppose gay marriage. In 2009 and 2010, the family gave about $3.2 million to such groups.
By March of 2014, though, the younger Cathy had changed his tune dramatically, saying that his company, which generates $4 billion in revenue annually, should not be a symbol in the debate over gay marriage.
“Every leader goes through different phases of maturity, growth and development and it helps by (recognizing) the mistakes that you make,” Cathy told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “And you learn from those mistakes. If not, you’re just a fool. I’m thankful that I lived through it and I learned a lot from it.” (RELATED: Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy To Gay-Marriage Enthusiasts: Okay, Okay, Enough Already)
In 2009, a man named Floyd Lee Corkins used a Southern Poverty Law Center “Hate Map” to find the Family Research Council headquarters in Washington, D.C. He entered the headquarters lobby in August 2012 in an attempt to “to kill as many people as possible” and “smother Chick-fil-A sandwiches in their faces” because he disagreed with the conservative organization about gay marriage. Corkins managed to shoot a security guard. The guard disarmed him. (RELATED: FBI Severs Ties With Liberal, Domestic Terrorism-Inspiring Southern Poverty Law Center)
Officials at Ventura High have indicated that they will still happily take the local Chick-fil-A restaurant’s donations as long as Chick-fil-A food does not appear on campus.