The owners of Memories Pizza, the Indiana pizza shop that was forced to close down last week after its owners received death threats for stating that they were Christian and would not cater a gay wedding, announced their plans for the $840,000-plus they have received from the online crowdfunding page GoFundMe.
The O'Connor family told The Daily Mail that although they were only looking to raise a goal of $200,000 to help them get back on track after closing shop for about a week and becoming the center of a national media storm, they will be donating much of the extra money to a number of good causes, including giving some to Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman.
The 70-year-old Stutzman, who owns and operates Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, is at risk of losing her life savings, home and flower shop because of a lawsuit filed by the state attorney general after a gay couple posted on social media about how they were referred to another florist when they asked Stutzman to make floral arrangements for their same-sex wedding. more >>
The Satanic Temple group and the Freedom From Religion Foundation have announced that they are launching a lawsuit against the Franklin County Courthouse in Indiana for rejecting the groups' respective December displays.
The lawsuit says that a new county ordinance, which restricts permits for displays and activities on the courthouse lawn to county residents, is a violation of the First Amendment. The lawsuit was filed late in March at the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana, The Washington Post reported.
The Satanic Temple had sought to display "an artistic three-dimensional sculpture mounted on a wooden platform" on the lawn between November and January, but was denied the request. FFRF's plans to display cut-out figures "celebrating the December 15 nativity of the Bill of Rights" were also turned down. more >>
As over $842,000 have been raised to support the Christian owners of the Indiana Pizza shop that closed down after receiving threats for saying they wouldn't cater a gay wedding, one lesbian woman that donated $20 to the cause has revealed why she felt compelled to help the family and apologize for the threatening actions of the LGBT community.
Upon reading about the violent threats that were directed toward the O'Connor family, the owners of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana, after they told a local news reporter that they would have to decline catering same-sex weddings if they were asked to do so, Courtney Hoffman, a lesbian small business owner, was inclined to donate to their GoFundMe online fundraising page and also post a heart-warming apology along with the donation.
"As a member of the gay community, I would like to apologize for the mean spirited attacks on you and your business. I know many gay individuals who fully support your right to stand up for your beliefs and run your business to those beliefs," Hoffman's online donation message stated. "We are outraged at the level of hate and intolerance that has been directed at you and I sincerely hope that you are able to rebuild." more >>
More than $800,000 has been raised online for a Christian pizzeria owner from Indiana who was forced to shutter her shop after being attacked by LGBT advocates for saying she would not provide catering services for a gay wedding and she says the money is God's way of blessing her for "standing up."
Crystal O'Connor, owner of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, who told a local news reporter that her shop would not cater gay weddings, reiterated her opposition to the idea citing her Christian faith in an interview with the FOX Business Network Friday despite vitriolic threats against her and her business from LGBT advocates.
"It is not a sin that we bring gays into our establishment, and to serve them. It is a sin, though, if we condone," she said. "If we cater their wedding. We feel we are participating, we are putting a stamp of approval on their wedding, and we cannot do that." more >>
After a Christian-owned Indiana pizza shop was forced to close down after receiving arson and death threats for saying that it would not cater a gay wedding — when the owner's daughter was asked that question by a reporter — Salon.com posted a tweet from its official Twitter account saying that the pizzeria "is getting exactly what it deserves."
Although the Salon tweet has since been deleted, it was not before the tweet caught the attention of the Daily Caller and conservative Twitter users.
Posted along with a photo of a slice of pizza, the tweet reads: "The anti-LGBT pizza shop in Indiana is getting exactly what it deserves." The tweet also included a link to a short Salon article on the indefinite closing of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana, whose owners told a local ABC news reporter earlier in the week that they would choose not to cater a gay wedding if they were asked to do so. more >>
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed an amendment to the state's recently passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act Thursday in response to critics who claimed the bill authorized anti-gay discrimination. RFRA, however, is not an "anti-gay" bill and the proposed "fix" illustrates why the critics' arguments were false in the first place.
The change to Indiana's RFRA says that the law does not "authorize a provider to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accomodations, goods, employment, or housing to any member or members of the general public on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service." Further, it states that RFRA cannot be used as a defense from "civil action or criminal prosecution" for a provider who refuses the above. Churches, religious leaders and religious nonprofits are exempted.
As The Christian Post pointed out after passage of the Indiana RFRA, the law is not anti-gay. It provides religious freedom protections for all faiths, and does not single out (or even mention) gays in any way. more >>