A small-town pizzeria in Indiana received more than $840,000 in online donations after gay-marriage supporters condemned the restaurant for its owners’ support of the original version of the Indiana’s religious-freedom law. Memories Pizza of Stapleton, Indian received condemnation and anonymous threats after a co-owner told a local reporter the pizzeria would not serve a gay wedding.
The restaurant has closed its doors and the online donations have stopped, but according to The Washington Post, the story about the pizzeria is not over:
“The intent was to help the family stave off the burdensome cost of having the media parked out front, activists tearing them down, and no customers coming in,” Lawrence Jones, a contributor on Loesch’s show, wrote on the fundraising page. “Our goal was simply to help take one thing off this family’s plate as the strangers sought to destroy them. But other strangers came to the rescue and the total just keeps going up.”
Crystal O’Connor, a co-owner of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Ind., found her family’s business in the middle of the heated debate over the legislation after she told a local television reporter that her family would refuse to cater a gay wedding because such a ceremony violates their religious beliefs.
In an interview earlier this week, O’Connor told Loesch her family had decided to shutter their business after receiving a spate of threatening phone calls and critical social media posts. Hundreds of commenters flooded the business’s Yelp and Facebook pages labeling the pizzeria discriminatory.
“I have absolutely no income coming in at all,” she said.
To be clear: No one has reported that Memories has actually denied service to anyone. The owners even told ABC 57 they wouldn’t refuse service to a gay man or woman — they would only refuse to cater a gay wedding.