Memories Pizza Is First Indiana Business To Deny Service To LGBT Customers

Let’s see a show of hands for all the married folks who served pizza at their wedding. Come on, don’t be shy. Did Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana do the catering? Is this an Indiana tradition, serving pizza at a wedding? The owners of Memories Pizza support the new and horrible Religious Freedom Restoration Act 100%, and to prove it, they are publicly stating they refuse to cater gay weddings. Because when gay couples are researching their menus, the first thing I’m sure they say is “Oh, we should totally serve pizza to all our friends and family. Screw the maple-glazed salmon, haricots vert, jasmine rice, and spinach salad with candied walnuts! We’re having deep-dish pizza with extra cheese!”

Seriously, if this is an Indiana thing, I apologize for my food snobbery. But if it isn’t, what are Chrystal O’Connor and her dad, Kevin, so freaking worried about? You can’t find a menu for Hateful Memories Pizza online, but I would bet they have a pizza with bacon. Leviticus, the same book that fundamentalists quote every damn time they want to “prove” it’s okay to hate gay people, also has this to say about eating pork:

And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you. (Leviticus 11: 7-8)

Bacon is a pork product. Therefore, if Bad Memories Pizza has a anything on their menu with bacon, or pork of any kind, they are violating the same book they use to defend their bigotry. If Kevin O’Connor wears polyester, he’s violating the bible. If Chrystal is unmarried, and has had sex, she qualifies for a stoning. If that restaurant is open on Saturdays, they are violating the fourth commandment “Keep the Sabbath holy.” But pssh on the Bible, the only thing people like the O’Connors care about is the part about HOMOS. Homo sex is icky, and therefore, the O’Connor’s pizza cannot ever be eaten at a gay wedding.

My editor Manny Schewitz sent me the link to this story, accompanied by the comment “What self-respecting gay couple would ask for pizza for their wedding?” I would add, what self-respecting couple period would ask for pizza for their wedding? Again, if this something that happens often in Indiana, I apologize. For both my comments, and if it’s something that happens often in Indiana. Guests dressed to the nines, with pizza sauce dribbling onto their silk ties and jacquard dresses. Oh yes, that sounds delightful.

Kevin O’Connor told a local news station:

That lifestyle is something they choose. 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?

Kevin chose to be heterosexual. Really. When? Kevin, at what age did you consciously decide to be heterosexual? Eleven? Fifteen? Where were you when you said “Hey. I think I’ll be attracted to women not men because boobs are awesome,” and chose that life? Was it when you chose to cherry pick the Bible?

You know what all this reminds me of, this whining by right wing Christians about “the gays?” Toddlers. Parents, think back to when your child was about three years old. Remember taking that child to the store, or the mall, and the child would want everything he or she saw? And when you said “No, you can’t have that/don’t need that,” the child would become enraged, screaming, fussing, whirling about, making noises that sounded as if you were driving a nail into their eyeball? Because you were persecuting them by not letting have their way. Seriously, if toddlers knew the word persecute, they would look parents in the eye and bellow “YOU ARE PERSECUTING ME BY NOT LETTING ME HAVE THAT MATCHBOX CAR/CANDY/STUFFED ANIMAL.”

The good news is, toddlers grow up. They stop wanting everything, they stop believing that not getting their way is the same thing as being murdered or thrown in a gulag. The bad news is, right wing Christians have grown up, and they still confuse not getting their way with persecution. The O’Connors feel that gay marriage somehow impacts their lives, when in fact, it doesn’t. The gay agenda isn’t what fundies think it is, there’s no such thing as a homo demon, and conservative states watch a lot of porn. Blue states do, too, but the fact that red states supposedly belong to the self-professed “party of family values” makes their porn habits much more interesting. And what are the odds of gay porn being included popping up on computers in those red states? Pretty good, you betcha! Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Memories Pizza is being absolutely trashed on Yelp! reviews. Also, don’t a Google image search for Memories Pizza from your work computer, Manny made that unfortunate mistake. You’ve been warned.

Last time anyone checked, right wing Christians were not being rounded up at gunpoint and imprisoned, or killed, or discriminated against. The government hasn’t banned Christianity, churches are still tax-exempt, Christians can still wear crucifixes around their necks, put those Jesus fish on their SUVs, and go on television, talking about how they refuse to cater a gay wedding because White Jesus. So where the hell is all this persecution? You want persecution? Listen to the stories told by LGBT teens whose families throw them onto the streets for being themselves. Learn about Justin Aaberg, or Jamey Rodemeyer, or Tyler Clementi, or Harvey Milk, or Samantha Johnson. Watch Steve Snyder-Hill‘s military service get ignored by Republican presidential candidates. Read about Leelah Alcorn. Research what ISIS does to gay men.

Then grow the hell up.

Erin Nanasi

Erin Nanasi is the creator of The Bachmann Diaries: Satirical Excerpts from Michele Bachmann's Fictional Diary. She hates writing about herself in the third person. Erin enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family. And wombats. Come visit Erin on on Facebook. She also can be found on Twitter at @WriterENanasi.


Facebook comments

  • Four Chin Francis

    There’s an update that is great news for the Tolerant Left, Memories Pizza’s owner said they are closing for good due to all the death threats they’ve received.

    Thanks Erin, for doing your part.

    • Diane Lynne

      The free market economy in action.

      • Four Chin Francis

        Death threats are a felony, Dianne. To the contrary, there is no market in them. Unless you pay someone to make them, but that’s a felony, too.

      • Edric alFali

        Yeah, make loose connections because you can’t form a real argument.

      • Four Chin Francis

        I can run circles around you on this topic.

        This is typical liberal thought police vigilantism, by the horrible reporting of the news station who went searching for this kind of an interview, all the way to the goons making death threats for nothing more than a young woman giving an unrealistic hypothetical. A woman who denied no one service, unlike Erin Nanasi’s headline claims.

      • Edric alFali

        Yeah run circles, i’m sure you’re already out of breath from typing.
        Why are you comparing EVERYONE to a small number of people who made the threats. I don’t condone them but you’re more than happy to assign every liberal to one opinion. That’s cool; I’m sure you’re some infowars fapping antivaxer. Hey, this is fun.

      • Four Chins

        I assigned it to this blog because it did it with the policeman in Ferguson, too. I stated that already.

      • Medussa

        A life destroyed?? You think those pizza shop owners killed themselves??
        Or are you comparing a public (open market) response to expressed bigotry with destroying a life, lol.
        That’s actually pretty funny.

      • Four Chins

        A family-owned business in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere in operation for nearly a decade has been forced to close, for at least the time being, and the owners are getting death threats and vulgar threats on Yelp and their Facebook page. Yeah, it’s not hyperbole to say another life ruined, Medussa.

        And for what? For the opinion one of the daughters made when prodded by the reporter. A reporter who went looking to create a story instead of reporting on one.

        Liberal thought police at its most odious.

      • Medussa

        Actually, a friend screen shotted those yelp reviews, and says there are no threats. Other than threats to to not spend money there, and to spread the divorced man’s bigotry far and wide. Be sure your not defending a liar here, lol.
        In comparison, let me tell you what happened today when a young man was outed as gay during a ball game. He and his entire team were chased off the field while having threats and shoes and cups and glasses thrown at them.
        This was not for his behavior, not for being an ass, not for anything other than being gay. And the hostility was extended to the entire team.
        If you want to whinge about threats and violence and oppression, don’t forget to look around at the people who are actually suffering. Who can’t get married to the person they love. Who are killed for being gay. Whose parents kick them out onto the street for being gay.
        These pizza people went out of their way to state that they wouldn’t cater a gay wedding because religion. That same holy text they are citing condemns marriage between divorced people, and when the woman is not a virgin. Oh, and shellfish eaters, too. I didn’t catch it when this guy went out of his way to claim he wouldn’t cater the wedding of a shellfish eater, did you? What about weddings where one or the other party has been divorced? Or where she isn’t a virgin?
        See what I’m getting at? If you’re going to go out of your way to be hostile to a group of people and hide behind such a flimsy excuse, then why would you be so surprised when people think you’re a bigot? Clearly the bible didn’t mean much to him when he decided to get divorced, but now it’s oh, so important…
        No one likes a hypocrite.

      • Jillz

        Riiiiiight. Because death threats are only ok to Conservatives when they are being leveled at the President of the United States of America.

        In any case, if the business is free to express its views; the public is certainly free to express its views. In this case, it would appear that the public doesn’t support the bigoted views of this establishment and has made it clear that those views will cost them customers.

        *shakes head/rolls eyes at the ridiculousness of STILL having to deal with discrimination issues in the 21st century*

      • Congero

        Death threats are never ok, Jillz. They’re a felony. And any against the president would never excuse any threats made against anyone else.

        In this case, the reporter went specifically shopping for a shop like theirs way out in the country in a small town with evident religious views, and then baited them into an extremely unlikely hypothetical situation, playing a ‘what if’ game. Sure, the beauty of the free market, but it’s still the thought police trying to sniff out views, because she has done no one any harm with any actions on her part other than being caught at a gotcha game by a young reporter looking to make news dishonestly.And the beauty of the free market is such that they have a decent chunk of change coming in the form of cash from a GoFundMe account from supporters.

        What if you owned a pizza shop and someone from the KKK called you and asked you to cater pizzas to his daughter’s wedding. Would you?

      • Jillz

        It’s comparing apples to oranges – the KKK is a hate group with a history of violence; a homosexual is someone who just wants the freedom to love. A better example would be to ask me if I would cater pizzas to a Republican’s daughter’s wedding as the Republican ideologies DO violate my religious beliefs (and the answer is yes, I would probably accept the job as long as I was not subject to hate and bigotry while at the event).

        The reporter could not have baited them into saying something they didn’t actually think/feel. They made their views clear and revealed themselves to be bigots. The public responded.

        “And any against the president would never excuse any threats made against anyone else.” – Agreed. My comment wasn’t excusing death threats (which I didn’t see on the YELP page), it was an observation that conservatives react pretty loudly about “threats” made by Liberals in response to bigotry, but all you hear is crickets if it’s a conservative threat against the President (or, a loud defense of the person making the threat eg. Ted Nugent).

        In direct response to your question – If I knew the guy was KKK, I would probably turn down the job based on my intolerance of discrimination and violence, NOT based on my “religious” views. I can’t picture myself feeling at ease surrounded by such people while at the event.

      • Congero

        Understandable. Jillz, but the guy that was KKK would then have a case for a discrimination lawsuit against you if you owned a business that served the public. What legal defense do you suppose you would summon in order to fight it, since there isn’t a great deal of difference legally between your reasons and many people who would claim the same unease at a same-sex marriage ceremony and reception. The few cases litigated have said exactly that, a willingness to provide a cake, or flowers, but did not want to have to attend the ceremony.

      • Jillz

        Hm. I hear you, Congero, and you’ve planted some food for thought because of course you’re right insofar as my refusing to cater to a KKK member might be seen as discrimination as well. The difference of course, is that the KKK is a group that discriminates, and similarly to the way I think about fundamentalist Christians – it is not discrimination (or persecution) to refuse to tolerate the discrimination and persecution they regularly engage in. So, if the KKK has discriminatory ideologies (which they do) then they are the discriminators and I am not being discriminatory by refusing to tolerate their discrimination. The part that I’m stuck on (thank you very much for the seed you planted, mentioned above *smiles*), is: Would it be discriminatory for me to refuse service to someone who is discriminating against someone else, not me? I’m thinking about that one.

      • Edric alFali

        Hay, that’s just what the libertarians want.

      • strayaway

        Libertarians aren’t known for being particularly religious, generally are ok with gay marriage, and/or, better yet, government getting out of the business of marriage. If gays went to libertarian pizza makers they would instead probably get pizzas and an earful about the requirement of government marriage contracts. The opposite of libertarian, by the way, is authoritarian.

      • Four Chins

        How about Apple, Diane? Will you call to boycott Apple’s products due their funding of regimes that flog and brutalize gays?

    • DerpDestroyer

      Really piss poor “victim” card here, pal. Cry me a river!

      • bestfriend

        How about:

        Another small business destroyed while everyone cheers on wal-mart and
        the other mega corporation who pay lip service to equality

      • DerpDestroyer

        D—-RAMA! He only closed for awhile until “this all blows over”. Save the hyperbole for your Mama.

      • Four Chins

        The family received death threats. That’s not hyperbole. People carry out on death threats, idiot. That’s why they’re a felony.

        How is that hyperbole, genius? Enlighten me.

      • DerpDestroyer

        The business wasn’t “destroyed”, idiot. That is hyperbole. Anyway, let me pull this fish hook out of my cheek and get back to work.

      • Medussa

        His family did not receive death threats.
        But he did start a GoFundMe Campaign, and is making megabucks off of people who are willing to believe it.

      • Congero

        The owner said he did receive death threats and the Walkerton police department has said they have been forced to beef up security as a result of threats. Don’t his word or the police department’s word, or even the word of the postings from Twitter, Yelp and Facebook, but Google it and find out on your own.

        The GoFundMe Campaign is a result of those threats, too. Go to the site and see that for yourself, too. It’s not all people that are against same-sex marriages, either.

    • Medussa

      Actually, the owner specifically said he’s not closing for good, just until the dust settles.
      I just point that out in case we were interested in the truth..

      • Four Chins

        At first he said he may do it for good. The guy is getting bombarded. For no reason. The shop doesn’t cater to weddings, the reporter asked her a hypothetical.

        This blog post is wrong on so many things it should be taken down, starting with the false headline. You’re not really interested in the truth, to be perfectly honest.

      • Medussa

        For no reason? He gave plenty of reason!!
        However, for no reason, he volunteered that he wouldn’t cater to gay weddings, even though I doubt very much that that is a common request in his business.
        And he defended his decision by claiming his faith. The same faith he ignored when he divorced his wife, which is also very much frowned upon. The same faith he chooses to ignore when he serves people wearing mixed fabrics (an abomination worthy of death according to the bible), or who have remarried after divorcing, or who have eaten shellfish. The same faith he chooses to ignore when he does business on Saturdays (that’s one of the commandments, btw).
        When someone is a blatant hypocrite and bigot, people respond.
        As for closing down, he’s business savvy to have a GoFundMe Campaign, and last time I checked, he had over $17k.
        So yeah, stop with the victim bit. He’s made more money than he ever would have with his pizza. I’m sure he didn’t enjoy it, but there are real victims out there, and in the US, none of them are victims for being Christian.

    • ebc12

      Play with fire you get your fingers burned.

  • Medussa

    The owners of this establishment have been given the freedom to demonstrate just how they imagine a perfect world according to their religion.
    And they wasted no time in showing how the Bible is frequently used to be hateful and judgmental.
    I may have missed the announcement, but I didn’t hear them announcing publicly that they wouldn’t cater the wedding of divorced people (like the owner himself), or non virgin women, or shellfish eaters..
    And that makes them bigots and hypocrites, and no likes bigots and hypocrites.

  • You don’t get to claim protection against the consequences of being a bigoted asshole on the basis of your religion. Indiana’s law is going to bite, and bite, and bite, and bite them in the ass until the start figuring out why trying to do an end run around the separation clause is a really bad idea.

  • Congero

    In 2015, Democrats are calling in death threats to a pizza shop whose owner agrees with what was Barack Obama’s official position in 2008.

    Go figure.

  • Macdoodle

    Whatever happened to those signs that say “we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”?

  • Charles Vincent

    What a piece of work….
    Moral high ground check…
    Hypocrisy check…
    Misrepresentation of facts check…
    Please go back to the drawing board Wilemena coyote…

  • Kinsey

    This story is beginning to upset me. They were asked by a reporter what they would do if they were asked, and they gave an honest answer. Can we stop this crusade against them? They didn’t say they wouldn’t serve gay people at their restaurant, they were asked a hypothetical question and they gave their answer. Now they are going out of business. THIS isn’t what I want from my country either!

  • Charles Vincent

    Here is our point. A Christian making a homosexual cake with
    “Support Gay Marriage” goes against his faith and a homosexual putting “Gay
    Marriage Is Wrong” goes against his faith as well. Now of course we honor their
    right to say no, this is not the issue, but what about honoring the Christian
    right to also say no?

    Not such a sad ending after all.