But if you’re gay and in Indiana, don’t call Memories Pizzeria in Walkerton: They won’t help you make your wedding memories. The owners of the family-run business say it will refuse to serve slices to gay or lesbian weddings, joining a chorus of those who cite opposition to marriage equality in support of their state’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Crystal O’Connor, who runs the business, told local news outlet ABC57, “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,” because it was not reflective of their Christian values.
In doing so, O’Connor insisted such a move would not be an act of discrimination, as many critics of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act have argued. “I do not think it’s targeting gays,” she said. “I don’t think it’s discrimination. It’s supposed to help people that have a religious belief.”
O’Connor’s father, Kevin, also appeared in ABC’s report telling the reporter being gay is a choice. “Why should I be beat over the head to go along with something they choose?”
Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana claims that outrage over the new law, which was passed last Thursday, is the product of “mischaracterization,” and that the law’s intent was simply to protect religious liberties. Yesterday, he acknowledged the mounting criticism and said he would be seeking a “legislative fix” to the law.
Despite the national backlash to Indiana’s law, the Arkansas state legislature followed suit yesterday by passing its own religious freedom bill.