Tags: Indiana | religious freedom | Memories Pizza | gay marriage

Indiana Pizza Shop Owners Won't Cater Gay Weddings

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Apr 2015 12:28 PM

An Indiana pizza shop is coming under fire after saying it would refuse to cater a same-sex wedding and agreeing with its state's controversial new 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 family-owned Memories Pizza in Walkerton told local ABC Affiliate WBND on Tuesday.

The family, which has owned the restaurant for nine years, calls it a Christian establishment and says they are proud to own a business that reflects their faith.

"We're not discriminating against anyone, that's just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything," O'Connor said.

She made the comments just hours after Gov. Mike Pence agreed to clarify the new law to say it does not allow for discrimination, reports The Hill. The new law, like the federal version signed in 1993, and similar laws in 20 states, protects individuals from the government intruding on their religious beliefs, but critics say its language allows businesses to deny service to the LGBT community and use religious beliefs as justification.
 
On Yelp, a website where users rate businesses, Memories Pizza is getting slammed for its stance, with out-of-state users posting one-star ratings and lambasting the O'Connors.

But O'Connor said she does not believe the law targets gays, or that it is discriminatory.

"It's supposed to help people that have a religious belief," she said, and told the ABC affiliate that it is her family's right as Christians to oppose same-sex marriage.

Her father, Kevin O'Connor, said the bill's backlash is unfair.

"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?" he said.

The O'Connors, though, said they would not refuse service in their restaurant to a gay couple or one from another religion, but they do not agree with gay marriage and would not provide service for such a wedding.

Pence, while calling for lawmakers to fix the legislation to combat a "perception problem" and making it clear that it doesn't allow for discrimination, said the measure already does not allow for that.

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An Indiana pizza shop is coming under fire after saying it would refuse to cater a same-sex wedding and agreeing with their state's controversial new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Indiana, religious freedom, Memories Pizza, gay marriage
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2015-28-01
Wednesday, 01 Apr 2015 12:28 PM
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