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Online donations for controversial Indiana pizza joint top $840,000


PETER HOLLEY

Source:
Washington Post
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
4/4/2015

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ABSTRACTOnline donations for controversial Indiana pizza joint top &u0024;840,000 - The Washington Post Accessibility for screenreader Sign In Username PostTV Politics Opinions Local Sports National World Business Tech Lifestyle Entertainment Classifieds Jobs Real Estate Events Rentals Cars WP BrandConnect Subscribe Newsletters & Alerts washingtonpost.com © 1996-2015 The Washington Post Help and Contact Us Terms of Service Privacy Policy Submissions and Discussion Policy RSS Terms of Service Ad Choices Sections The Washington Post Online donations for controversial Indiana pizza joint top $840,000 Sign In Username Subscribe Morning Mix Online donations for controversial Indiana pizza joint top $840,000 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share via Email More Options Share via Email Share on Whatsapp Share on Pinterest Share on Google Plus Share on LinkedIn Share on Tumblr Resize Text Print Article Comments By Peter Holley April 4 Follow @peterjholley Walkerton pizza joint says if asked to cater a gay wedding, answer would be no. 1st #Michiana biz to support #RFRA pic.twitter.com/mMHumWSb3x — Brandon Pope ABC 57 (@BpopeTV) April 1, 2015 An online fundraiser for owners of a family-run pizzeria in Indiana that was forced to temporarily close after it became embroiled in the national debate over the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act has netted more than $840,000 from anonymous donors. In only two days of fundraising, the GoFundMe campaign started by staffers from Dana Loesch’s conservative radio show garnered more than 29,000 donations and more than quadrupled its initial goal of $200,000. “The intent was to help the family stave off the burdensome cost of having the media parked out front, activists tearing them down, and no customers coming in,” Lawrence Jones, a contributor on Loesch’s show, wrote on the fundraising page. “Our goal was simply to help take one thing off this family’s plate as the strangers sought to destroy them. But other strangers came to the rescue and the total just keeps going up.” Owners of a local pizza parlor in Walkerton, Ind., say they support the state's new Religious Freedom Law and refuses to cater any gay weddings. (AP) Crystal O’Connor, a co-owner of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Ind., found her family’s business in the middle of the heated debate over the legislation after she told a local television reporter that her family would refuse to cater a gay wedding because such a ceremony violates their religious beliefs. In an interview earlier this week, O’Connor told Loesch her family had decided to shutter their business after receiving a spate of threatening phone calls and critical social media posts. Hundreds of commenters flooded the business’s Yelp and Facebook pages labeling the pizzeria discriminatory. “I have absolutely no income coming in at all,” she said. To be clear: No one has reported that Memories has actually denied service to anyone. The owners even told ABC 57 they wouldn’t refuse service to a gay man or woman — they would only refuse to cater a gay wedding. Crystal’s father, Kevin O’Connor, reiterated that point on Wednesday, telling the Los Angeles Times he has no problem with serving same-sex couples. His daughter’s statements, he noted, were made in response to a reporter’s question about a hypothetical situation. “We service anyone,” the 61-year-old said. “I don’t care who it is. I don’t care if they’re covered with tattoos, I don’t care if they got rings in their ears. I don’t care if they’re gay. The only thing I said was I cannot condone gay marriage.” Facing a national backlash, Indiana Republican leaders announced on Thursday that language will be added to the state’s controversial religious liberties bill clarifying that business owners cannot deny services to gay and lesbian patrons. On Friday, Loesch wrote a blog post claiming her staffers had connected the O’Connors with “a trusted financial adviser” who is flying to Indiana on Monday to “walk the O’Connors through everything, look at their books, and get them set up.” MORE READING: Indiana pizza shop won’t cater gay wedding, gets over $50K from supporters A call for sanity in the matter of Memories Pizza vs. the Internet Vegas woman gets $200 distracted driving ticket for applying lip balm at a red light Peter Holley is a general assignment reporter at The Washington Post. He can be reached at peter.holley@washpost.com. Continue reading 10 minutes left   Share on Facebook Share   Share on Twitter Tweet Comments Show Comments Discussion Policy Comments SuperFan Badge SuperFan badge holders consistently post smart, timely comments about Washington area sports and teams. More about badges | Request a badge Culture Connoisseur.......