Sure, not a lot of people probably have wedding plans revolving around pizza (although I did once attend a bachelor party with a triple-tier pizza “cake” for dinner). But the fallout from Memories Pizza’s announcement is much more interesting than the announcement itself. For example, the GoFundMe account they set up to raise money for their ‘fight’ against The Gay, which raised a truly ludicrous $50,000 in the first day it was created. Who knew discrimination could be such a lucrative business maneuver? How much do you think I could get if I set up an account to support me in my disdain for Bronies?
Crystal O’Connor, one of the restaurant’s owners, insists that the store’s decision not to serve same-sex weddings, is not discriminatory:
”We’re not discriminating against anyone[.] That’s just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything.”
That’s good, because I believe in a thing called ‘the dictionary‘, which says this:
1. an act or instance of discriminating, or of making a distinction2. treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit
It sounds quite a bit like serving different-sex weddings but not same-sex ones is … making a distinction, perhaps? Possibly? Maybe?
According to Kevin O’Connor, Crystal’s father and another of the owners:
”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?”
To which I invite O’Connor to choose to be gay, just for a day. An afternoon, even. Just spend a few hours pining over peen and pecs, and enjoy beating straight Indianans over the head with your mere existence/desire to eat pizza.
It’s not clear where in the Bible people are drawing their inspiration for the decision to turn away business from gay people. It sounds a bit Old-Testament-y, mixed in with a liberal dose of “eww, boys holding hands!” That Jesus guy was pretty famous for hanging out with hookers, tax collectors, and other people who would generally be considered too icky to sit at the cool kids’ lunch table by Christians like those who own Memories Pizza today. In fact, as I recall, on his one occasion of a fit of temper, the target of his ire was
opulently rich megachurch ministers money-changers and salesmen who had turned the temple into a place of business instead of a place of prayer.
I could also draw some unflattering comparisons between the O’Connors taking their anti-same-sex stance to the local news and Jesus’s thoughts about noisy, attention-seeking Pharisees praying at the top of their lungs to anyone who would listen. But of course, GoFundMe didn’t exist in the year 33 AD, so we’ll never know if Jesus would have crowd-funded his decision to tell a marginalized community to piss off. WWJD, indeed?
As with the rest of the state of Indiana, people are calling for the boycott of Memories Pizza. I’m not an economy wonk; maybe a boycott of the entire state of Indiana is only going to squeeze the people who are already hurting. But a similar bill is currently stalling on the desk of the governor of Arkansas, who wants changes to make it less like Indiana’s law and more like current federal rules–it’s hard to argue that the pressure to avoid a boycott against Arkansas had no effect. I’m not going to be losing any sleep over the fact that the business owned by the author of the Religious Freedom Bill is struggling, either. But whatever the case for the boycott at large, if you’re unavoidably going to be in the state of Indiana, your money would be much better spent nearly anywhere besides Memories Pizza: by supporting one of the businesses who have placed “We Serve Everyone” signs in their windows, for example; or by just throwing it down any convenient hole you find in the ground.
Those who support the Religious Freedom bill like to brag about their ‘family values’, but really they only value families that look like theirs. Families built around a same-sex couple are families too, and they’re the ones who need protection far more than the O’Connors and their sad anti-gay pizza.