A family-owned pizzeria in Indiana closed on Wednesday following backlash over its support of a controversial religious freedom law.
TMZ reported that Memories Pizza is suspending its business operations amid uproar over the state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Owner Kevin O’Connor said vitriol toward his restaurant was so intense it was closed until further notice. The eatery began receiving threatening phone calls and social media postings after revealing its support for the law earlier this week.
O’Connor and his family initially inspired public rage by declaring that they would not cater gay weddings on Tuesday. That announcement made Memories Pizza Indiana’s first business to refuse potential customer service for religious reasons under the new law.
It also drew venom from furious critics online. They have since flooded the store’s Yelp page with negative reviews protesting the O’Connor family’s position. Memories had an average rating of 1.5 out of 5 stars based on 1,850 reviews as of Wednesday evening.
Gov. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) signed the law into existence last Thursday. The resulting negativity has since set the potential 2016 GOP presidential hopeful backpedaling, and on Tuesday he urged state lawmakers to fix its problems immediately.
Connecticut, New York and Washington, D.C., have all banned government-funded travel to Indiana since the law’s creation last week. They join a myriad of tech companies boycotting the Hoosier State in protest of the legislation.
Apple, Salesforce and Yelp are some of the companies vocal in their opposition to the law. Apple CEO Tim Cook compared it to the segregation era’s Jim Crow laws in a Washington Post op-ed published Monday.
“We must never return to any semblance of that time,” wrote Cook, head of the world’s largest company and an openly gay businessman.
Critics of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act believe it permits business discrimination of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals through religious rationales. The law’s supporters, in contrast, argue it allows businesses to make faith-based decisions without government interference.
SOURCE: The Hill – Mark Hensch