Thousands of people have banded together to “relieve the financial loss endured by the proprietors’ stand for faith” and raised a total of $510,000 in less than two days through the crowdfunding site GoFundMe.
Memories Pizza, “a proud Christian establishment,” took the national spotlight on Wednesday after owner Crystal O’Connor told a local ABC affiliate “we would have to say no” to a gay couple if they asked to buy a large number of pizzas for their wedding.
The business, however, said if a gay couple stepped into the restaurant, they wouldn’t be denied service — although, it’s likely gay patrons will avoid making memories at Memories all together.
The restaurant’s Yelp page has been flooded with comments criticizing owners for their belief that they have a right to discriminate against gay marrying couples. The vigorous social media backlash, paired with “threatening” phone calls, forced Memories Pizza to go “temporarily” dark.
The controversy surrounding the restaurant stems from Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which O’Connor said, “We definitely agree with” because she doesn’t think the bill targets gays or discriminates, but instead protects businesses like hers who have a religious belief.
Later, O’Connor told Fox Business’ Neil Cavuto that she doesn’t hate gay people and plans to reopen her store that she’s been forced to close.
“They are welcome in the store, anyone is welcome in the store, but it’s against our belief to condone, to cater to their wedding—we’re condoning that if we do that and that is against our religion,” she said Thursday.
“We show no hatred toward them,” she continued, but couldn’t put a “stamp of approval” on same-sex weddings.
O’Connor says she plans on reopening the store soon but doesn’t have a set timetable.