A northern Indiana pizza place has become the first Indiana business to confirm publicly that they won’t provide pizzas for gay weddings. The restaurant is relying on Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics are calling an anti-gay law, as legal justification for their decision.
Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana (near the Michigan border, about 20 miles southeast of South Bend), considers itself a “Christian establishment,” owner Crystal O’Connor tells WBND (South Bend).
“We are a Christian establishment.”
As Raw Story reports, the Indiana pizzeria won’t outright refuse to serve gays, but they draw the line at having to cater to gay weddings.
“If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no.”
Under Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the family owners of the pizzeria now have the legal right to refuse such service.
“We definitely agree with the bill. I do not think it’s targeting gays. I don’t think it’s discrimination. It’s supposed to help people that have a religious belief.”
Since the story of the pizza restaurant’s stance broke, the family of owners is experiencing a negative backlash online. Posts on the restaurants Yelp page range from the supportive to the downright nasty.
“I look forward to the day when Memories Pizza is just that- a DISTANT LONELY MEMORY. The last time I checked, pizza does not have religious convictions, but the small-minded owners of this establishment sure do. Luckily for all of us, since this is a free country and all, we can boycott them and put them out of business for being bigots- and they can go down swinging their raggedy flag of hate.”
The author of another comment decided to fan the flames by embellishing on the truth and claiming he was assaulted by the pizza place for being gay.
“I came in with my boyfriend a few weeks ago for a couple of slices. They told of us the good word of Jesus’s love. Which was all great until we told them we were engaged to be married, at which point they spit on us and bashed us upon the head and torso with pizza pans. They said it was all in the name of Jesus so I guess it’s not all bad. I choose never to give them my business anymore.”
Co-owner Kevin O’Connor – Crystal’s father – believes both the backlash his family’s business is getting, and the backlash the Indiana “anti-gay” bill is receiving in general, isn’t fair.
“That lifestyle is something they choose. I choose to be heterosexual. They choose to be homosexual. Why should I be beat over the head to go along with something they choose?”
Do you support this Indiana pizzeria’s right to refuse to provide pizzas for gay wedding’s under Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock/CREATISTA]