Religious Freedom Restoration Act: Pizza Shop to Not Cater Gay Weddings

Religious Freedom Restoration Act

The owners and operators of an Indiana family-run pizza restaurant will decline to cater a same-sex marriage under the state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The controversial law has caused uproar in Indiana and throughout the country in the past week. Crystal O’Connor, one of the owners of Memories Pizza, located in Walkerton, stated if a same-sex couple wanted the restaurant to cater their wedding, the owners would decline to provide service, according to a local reporter.

The bill was signed into law by Governor Mike Pence last week. The bill is said to protect individuals from government interference of one’s religious beliefs, unless the state could verify that it possessed a strong justification to do so. Opposers of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act stated the rhetoric of the law allows private businesses to decline service to lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) individuals based on religious beliefs only.

Pence has defended his decision to sign the bill into law, saying it does not allow for gender and sex-based discrimination. Afterwards, he called on the legislature to fix what has been called a “perception problem.”

The local pizza restaurant has seen much backlash on Yelp. Yelp has tallied dozens of one-star ratings for the restaurant, berating the owners for the stance on their refusal to cater same-sex couples at weddings due to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

By Alex Lemieux


The Hill

Photo by Dreamer.~ – Flickr License

One Response to "Religious Freedom Restoration Act: Pizza Shop to Not Cater Gay Weddings"

  1. Josh Weinstein   April 1, 2015 at 8:55 am

    A couple of issues here… First, Pence may think the law has a PERCEPTION problem, but that is UNTRUE. People DO understand what this law does, and for republicans, that is the problem. Somehow, they were not able to spin this one the way they usually spin odious legislation. So, the real intent of the law is VERY CLEAR.

    If it TRULY is not about discrimination, then why not simply add language to the law stating that it cannot be used as a defense in a discrimination case? Of course, the proponents of the law don’t want to do this, saying it would “gut the law”. So, we all KNOW FOR A FACT WHAT THIS LAW DOES AND WHAT THE INTENT WAS!

    The second problem is, this goes WAY BEYOND allowing business owners to decline to provide services for gay weddings! It would allow all sorts of things and NOT just discrimination against gays.

    For example, a firefighter could refuse to put out a house fire if the homeowners are a gay couple. An ER doctor could refuse to treat a gay patient. A pharmacy could refuse to dispense a much needed prescription to a gay person, even if there are no other pharmacies within a reasonable distance. And so on ans so forth. So the idea that this is just about weddings is simply not true.

    I DO hope they fix this law, but my guess is they will just write some statement about it not being intended to be used to discriminate, but that it will not actually be a PART of the law. Because if they add that provision to the law, then they lose their new-found “right” to discriminate. And they really do not want to do that.

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