The tables have turned on an Indiana pizzeria after the business owners said they will be exercising their rights of denying service to same-sex couples in light of the new “Religious Freedom” bill.
Crystal O'Connor of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, about 20 miles southwest of South Bend, told a local TV station Tuesday that their restaurant would say no if a gay couple asked them to cater their wedding – because they flat out don’t agree with same-sex marriage.
“We are a Christian establishment,” O’Connor told WBND-TV. “We're not discriminating against anyone, that's just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything.”
She says her family “definitely” agrees with Indiana's new widely-protested "Religious Freedom" law which allows business owners the right to refuse service to those they believe to be a "burden" to his or her religious beliefs.
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“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?” Crystal’s father Kevin O'Connor told the outlet.
After their comments went public, hundreds of potential patrons flocked to the pizzeria’s Yelp page and poured it with negative reviews and poor ratings – ruining the reputation the family had worked for in the nine years since its opening.
Kevin O’Connor told NBC News the backlash has been a surprise to him “to say the least.”
"I really don't want to push it any further,” he said, mentioning he was considering closing the business.
But some of their customers stand behind them, and are refusing to let Memories go down without a fight.
Lawrence Billy Jones III, who works as a contributor for conservative radio station The Blaze, created an online fundraising campaign for the restaurant.
“It’s about supporting this family, it’s about supporting freedom,” Jones told NBC News.
"We had no idea that in two hours we were going to be able to raise $20,000 but, lo and behold, it's happening," he said. "It gives me hope when I see people outpouring their support."
As of Wednesday evening nearly 900 contributors had donated to support Memories Pizza, raising more than $33,000.