UPDATE: Memories Pizza, the Indiana restaurant that closed after saying it would refuse to cater a gay wedding, has reopened. And they’re $842,000 richer thanks to the GoFundMe campaign that was launched to support the owner, Kevin O’Connor. He says he hasn’t yet received the money. The restaurant was closed for eight days. O’Connor, who is the father of eight says he plans to use the money for improvements to his shop and he’ll donate part of it to charity.
According to the AP, people had come from far away to show their support. The “religious freedom” law that sparked the comments that sparked the backlash has since been revised.
Update by Tonya Garcia
Originally post from April 2, 2015
Memories Pizza, a restaurant in Indiana, publicly announced that it refuses to cater to gay weddings. And they can do that thanks to the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allows businesses to be discriminatory by invoking their religious beliefs. The critical response, Huffington Post reports, has been polarizing.
On one hand, Memories Pizza was forced to shut down due to threatening messages. But on the other, the restaurant caught the attention of a slew of supporters who donated $40,000 in a GoFundMe page erected in their honor:
“We set up a GoFundMe page with the modest goal of $25,000. 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,” the GoFundMe page said. “All for having an opinion that is rooted in faith.” The GoFundMe campaign has since raised its goal to $200,000 and exceeded that, with $214,317 so far.
This hoopla all started earlier this week when local press asked the O’Connor family, the owners of Memories Pizza, about their views on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
“If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,” Crystal O’Connor of Memories Pizza said. “We are a Christian establishment. We’re not discriminating against anyone, that’s just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything.”
Kevin O’Connor, Crystal’s father, echoed his daughter’s sentiments: “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?”
When the story made national headlines, the restaurant’s Yelp page was bombarded with negative images and reviews.
“Homosexuality is not a choice.. You do not choose your skin color or your sex or your sexual preferences… the lack of real education is the problem here. The owners are to stupid to know reality from fairytale. Common sense,” Gary D from Nashville wrote.
“I wonder how Christian’s would feel if they were denied service anywhere for their religion? Disgusted at this restaurant’s atmosphere,” Lucy C. from the United Kingdom posted.
According to an interview with TheBlaze, Crystal said,“we’re in hiding basically.” The media, she says, took their words totally out of context. “We said that we would serve anyone…but not condone a [gay] wedding.”
At this point in time, Crystal does not think she will re-open Memories Pizza. Above is an interview with the daughter of the owner of Memories Pizza for The Blaze, a right-leaning outlet that was launched by Fox alum Glenn Beck.
What do you think?