Memories Pizza decided to lean heavily on the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act in terms of their business model. The Walkerton, Indiana, pizzeria stated that it had no intention of catering gay weddings. The reason is that the business is a "Christian establishment."
According to TMZ, Memories Pizza was forced to shut down following the declaration. For now, the pizza place is waiting out the backlash, with the owner declaring that the business was "misunderstood."
Anti-equality Indiana pizza joint gets seriously trolled, shuts up shop http://t.co/lf837DbpQh
— Mashable (@mashable) April 2, 2015
Kevin O'Connor told TMZ that he has no problem with gay men and women coming to his restaurant to eat. It's simply that he doesn't believe in gay marriage. As such, O'Connor said that Memories Pizza would never cater a gay wedding. He believes that his faith and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act justifies his business decision.
"If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide them pizzas for a wedding, we would have to say no."
Unfortunately for the hapless owner of Memories Pizza, it's highly likely that no distinction will be made by his critics.
From the moment that Kevin made the declaration against serving gay patrons who wished to marry, Memories Pizza was hit with loads of negative comments. O'Connor said they received threatening phone calls and that the business' Yelp page was also hit flagged by numerous negative reviews. By Wednesday night, the business's reputation on the site had dropped to a 1.5 out of 5 stars. It has since recovered to 2 out of 5 stars thanks to three 5-star reviews by people attempting to support the business's right to refuse gay patrons who wish to marry. It's unknown whether or not Yelp will respond to the political nature of the page, as it's highly possible the people rating and commenting have not been to the establishment.
The owner of Memories Pizza felt threatened enough by the negative response to his decision to close his business, at least temporarily. It's possible that in response to the backlash, persons who support the Indiana law will make it a point to serve the restaurant.
— Nurse Patriot (@LANURSE1) April 2, 2015
Chick-fil-A is an establishment with anti-gay marriage beliefs that uses Christianity as a base for their policies. Despite years of backlash, the restaurant enjoys a lot of success thanks to support from customers who share the same beliefs as the owners.
Do you believe that Memories Pizza was right to make the statement about refusing to serve gay weddings? Do you think that this type of backlash will force businesses to reconsider supporting the Religious Freedom Restoration Act?
[Image Credit: Google Maps]