Anti-gay pizza shop closes down – after raising $846,000 from evangelicals
An anti-gay pizza shop that raised more than $846,000 from evangelicals by vowing to discriminate against gay customers has closed its doors for good.
The family who run Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana made the news in 2015 when they pledged to deny service to same-sex weddings after then-Governor Mike Pence signed into law the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which gave businesses the right to discriminate against gay people on the grounds of religion.
The shop had not actually had a request to cater a gay wedding, but co-owner Crystal O’Connor proclaimed: “If a gay couple was to come in and they wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no.
“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.”
Her father Kevin O’Connor had insisted :”[Homosexuality] is a lifestyle that you choose. I choose to be heterosexual. They choose to be homosexual. Why should I be beat over the head because they choose that lifestyle?”
A fundraiser for the pizza shop promoted by conservative mouthpiece Glenn Beck raked in more than $845,000 from fundamentalist Christians.
Despite the massive windfall, however, the pizza shop has now closed its doors.
According to the South Bend Tribune, the shop quietly shut down last month, less than three years after the fundraiser.
The newspaper reports that the O’Connors had decided to retire, but did not return a request for comment.
The shop has also been marked ‘closed’ on Yelp.
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Shop owners Crystal and Kevin O’Connor were widely mocked when they made their initial ‘no gay weddings’ proclamation – with gay couples questioning who exactly would serve pizza at a wedding.
Comedian Rose O’Donnell joked: “Remember the pizza lady was saying that gays were going to cater their wedding with pizza?
“Not even lesbians would do that.
“We might have a potluck, we have bring your own chilli… but that’s only if financial situations are tough.”
However, the pair quickly fell out of the media eye – when just a few months later thrice-divorced Kentucky clerk Kim Davis became the new cause célèbre of the anti-LGBT movement.