Indiana business seeing backlash on social media for RFRA support
WALKERTON, IN (WTNH/WISH)- Despite the backlash for Religious Freedom Restoration Act supporters, some Indiana businesses are standing up for the bill.
One such business: Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Ind.
“I do not think it is targeting gays. I don’t think it’s discrimination,” said Crystal O’Connor, whose family owns Memories Pizza.
The O’Connors told WBND-TV that RFRA protects folks like them: people who want to stay true to their religion while running their business.
“If a gay couple was to come in, say they wanted us to provide pizza for a wedding, we’d have to say no,” Crystal O’Connor said.
The family said they’d serve gay couples in their restaurant, but they’d never cater a gay wedding.
It’s a decision that Billy Hannan calls short-sighted. He’s the manager of Broad Ripple Brew Pub, which is decorated with stickers saying “this business serves everyone.”
“Whether you agree or disagree with a person’s lifestyle or viewpoint, you’re entitled to disagree with that. But I don’t think you should discriminate,” Hannan said to 24-Hour News 8.
“We’re not discriminating against anyone,” Crystal O’Connor told WBND. “It’s just, that’s our belief. And anybody has the right to believe anything.”
Crystal O’Connor says the negative backlash RFRA supporters are getting isn’t fair. As for Hannan, he says lawmakers should amend the bill to protect LGBT citizens from discrimination.
Now, Memories Pizza is getting backlash on social media. Their rating on Yelp dramatically decreased after thousands of people went to the Yelp page to give them a one star review. They didn’t fair well on social media either. Their Facebook page also had negative comments about the interview.
One person said: “Not so much fun to be discriminated against is it? The difference here is you’re being discriminated against for your willful ignorance which is a choice, unlike sexual orientation,” wrote Erik Wright.
Another person on Facebook wrote:
“The only memories from this place are discrimination and hate,” said Michael Anmuth.
Others said the two minute interview ruined their business and they should be ashamed. There were a few comments that supported Memories decision.
“Way to stand up for what u believe.that takes guts!!! I’ll be stopping by soon!” Jesse Ernest said in the review section.
The sites website was hacked just hours after media attention.