Domino's Pizza founder Thomas S. Monaghan, who is bankrolling the birth of a town, backtracked Friday from comments that he'd like it to be governed by strict Roman Catholic principles.
His ideas about barring pornography and condoms, he said, apply to the Catholic university that he's creating there at the same time. Both the southwestern Florida town of Ave Maria and its Ave Maria University, the first Catholic university to be built in the United States in four decades, are set to open next year.
Monaghan's comments Friday contrasted with statements he made last year to a Catholic men's group in Boston that pornographic magazines won't be sold in town, pharmacies won't carry condoms or birth control pills, and cable television will carry no X-rated channels.
Monaghan said Friday those comments were "out of place."
"The town is open to anybody," Monaghan said. "The university -- it's a different story. It will be primarily Catholic."
The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida had promised lawsuits if the proposals were instituted. Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist said he saw nothing in Monaghan's proposals that violated state law.
The community will be set on 5,000 acres with a European-inspired town center. It will encircle a massive church and what planners call the largest crucifix in the nation, standing nearly 65 feet tall. Monaghan has already pledged more than $250 million to the project.