Indiana pizza shop refuses to cater gay weddings under new law
Owners of a family-run pizza shop in Indiana say they would decline to cater a gay marriage under the state’s controversial new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
“If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,” Crystal O’Connor of Memories Pizza in Walkerton told the local ABC affiliate on Tuesday.
“We’re not discriminating against anyone, that’s just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything.”
Those comments came just hours after Gov. Mike Pence (R) backed down in the face of mounting criticism and proposed an emergency fix to clarify that the law doesn’t allow for discrimination.
The bill, signed into law by Pence last week, protects individuals from government intrusion of their religious beliefs, unless the state could prove that it had a strong justification to do so. Critics of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act argue that the language allowed businesses to deny services to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people solely based on religious beliefs.
Pence and other defenders of the law have noted that the Supreme Court relied on a federal law to rule last year that the Hobby Lobby stores did not have to provide its employees with a healthcare plan that covered contraception.
While he repeatedly stressed during a Tuesday press conference that the law doesn’t allow for discrimination, he called for a legislative fix in order to combat the “perception problem.”
Yelp users have retaliated against the Indiana pizza store on Yelp, posting dozens of one-star ratings berating the owners for their stance. Out of the restaurant’s 127 reviews, only two appear to be from real customers who posted before the controversy.
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