It's alarming enough that a business has essentially confirmed the public's concerns over Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) — that it would be used to discriminate — and, adding insult to injury, the business in question is a pizza shop. It's unspoken common knowledge that pizza is about tolerance and all that is good in the world, and this business is ruining pizza's good name. Walkteron, Indiana's Memories Pizza was forced to close indefinitely after owner Crystal O'Connor stated she would refuse to cater a gay wedding, prompting an outpouring of criticism.
On Tuesday, amid the national debate over Governor Mike Pence's RFRA, O'Connor, whose family owns Memories, backed the bill when speaking to ABC57. She said:
If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no. We are a Christian establishment. We’re not discriminating against anyone, that’s just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything.
Um, except that you just described how you would discriminate against a gay couple if they asked for your catering services. Also, are people serving pizza at weddings now?
Anyway, after O'Connor made the comment, throngs of more tolerant people flooded Memories' Yelp page with both earnest criticisms and straight-up trolling in the form of "reviews.
Co-owner Kevin O'Connor told TMZ that he and his wife were forced to close the shop, at least until the heat died down.
However, more than 3,000 supporters donated more than $100,000 to the establishment in less than 24 hours after it came under fire. As the scandal continues to play out, one thing is for certain: Memories does not deserve to serve pizza. Pizza is an honorable food; pizza practically embodies love and acceptance; pizza is the food version of the peace dove. Think about it...
Pizza Promotes Inclusion
A pizza is meant to be shared among friends. You don't order a pizza so you can hog it all to yourself (except for that one time); you order a pizza so you can enjoy it with others who enjoy pizza as much as you. At its core, pizza is about including others.
Pizza Celebrates Diversity
Chicago deep dish, Brooklyn thin crust, Sicilian square slices, Mexican pizza — pizza is as diverse as the Earth's population. Just as every pizza style has something delicious to offer, everyone — no matter their cultural background, gender, or sexual orientation — has something wonderful to offer as an individual.
Pizza Looks Like Peace
It's no coincidence that the peace sign is round and so is pizza. You can even cut a pizza into a peace sign.
There you have it: Pizza shops are purveyors of joy, not discrimination. So whatever Memories serves (or used to serve, I should say) isn't worthy of being called pizza. It's just triangular slices of hate to be washed down with Hatorade.