Pizza shop at centre of marriage equality debate closes

An Indiana pizza shop that drew world wide attention when they announced they would not cater gay weddings has closed down.

Memories Pizza made international headlines in 2015 when they spoke out in support of then Governor Mike Pence’s anti-gay Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The restaurant announced its support for the bill that Governor Pence, now the USA’s Vice President, described as legislation to protect people who held religious convictions from “government actions”.

The pizza restaurant’s co-owner Crystal O’Connor told a local radio station that her business would refuse to cater a gay wedding because of their religious beliefs.

O’Connor owns the establishment with her father Kevin, how denied the couple were homophobic. In the same interview Kevin O’Connor said gay people were more than welcome to visit Memories Pizza, “That is not what this is about. We believe that it is not right for a man to marry a man and for a woman to marry a woman. People could end up marrying trees … come on!”

The news quickly spread around the globe, primarily with people asking if there were really a lot of gay couples who wanted to order in pizza for the wedding celebrations.

The reaction caught the attention of conservative commentators. Radio host Glenn Beck encouraged his listeners to donate to a GoFundMe campaign for the business to help them cover their losses in trade. The appeal raised US$748,000 dollars.

No reason has officially been given for the store’s closing but local media have speculated the O’Connors wanted to retire.