The owners of Memories Pizza, the Indiana restaurant that preemptively refused to cater a hypothetical gay wedding, have reportedly gone into hiding after receiving a barrage of online criticism and, more importantly, over $500,000 in donations from supposedly like-minded bigots.
Earlier this week, Crystal O’Connor and her father, Kevin, who co-own the pizzeria, made it very clear that their restaurant supported Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, in part because it allows them to avoid catering gay weddings.
“That lifestyle is something they choose,” Kevin told ABC57. “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?”
The online blowback to their stupidity was immediate and overwhelming, and the pizzeria temporarily closed its doors yesterday as a response. Good!
But as people were leaving bad reviews and homoerotic pictures on the pizzeria's Yelp and Facebook pages, conservatives across the country were donating thousands to the O’Connors through a Go Fund Me page. Yesterday morning, the figure stood at $60,000; by 10:30 am Friday, the total has surpassed $520,000. And now, the Associated Press reports, the family has gone into hiding.
Did the O'Connors take a principled stand? Or was their now-infamous interview part of an elaborate ruse to scam a small fortune from stupid but generous bigots and then skip town? Is there a faster way to make $500,000 in America in 2015 than by refusing to cater a hypothetical gay wedding? Only time will tell.