Indiana pizza parlor closes, raises over $142,000 with GoFundMe

Thousands of opponents of Indiana Senate Bill 101, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, gathered on the lawn of the Indiana State House to rally against that legislation Saturday, March 28, 2015. Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill Thursday prohibiting state laws that "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The O’Conner family has owned Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Ind. for nine years.

This week the restaurant made national news when owner Crystal O’Connor said the restaurant would deny catering services if a gay couple asked the pizzeria to provide pizzas for their wedding.

O’Conner stated that her family agrees with RFRA, and that the business reflects the family’s Christian values and beliefs. “We’re not discriminating against anyone, that’s just our belief and anyone has the right to believe anything,” said O’Conner.

O’Connor says because she is a Christian, she and her family will not support a gay marriage and that is their right.

Kevin O’Connor, Crystal’s father, said he believes the negative backlash the bill and the supporters are receiving is not fair.

“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?” said Kevin O’Connor.

The pizzeria has a box in the restaurant that allows people to place prayer requests.

A sign posted near the box said, “If there is something you would like us to pray for, just write it down and drop it in the box.”

According to The Washington Post, the restaurant closed temporarily after being met with threatening phone calls and criticism on social media.

The Yelp and Facebook page for the business received thousands of negative reviews and photos protesting the pizzeria.

The pizzeria now has a GoFundMe account, setup by conservative media outlet The Blaze, to “relieve the financial loss endured by the proprietor’s stand for faith.” As of publishing this story, the account has had over $142,000 donated in 18 hours by nearly 5,000 people. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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