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Fund Raises $840,000 for Memories Pizza After Attacks Over Gay Marriage Views

The staggering sum was donated after Memories Pizza was targeted by opponents of a religious freedom law over an owner's views on gay marriage.
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/ Source: NBC News

An online fundraising effort has raised more than $840,000 for an Indiana pizza shop hounded by critics after one of its owners said she would decline to cater a gay wedding because of her religious beliefs.

Memories Pizza temporarily closed its doors after the Walkerton business came under intense criticism following comments made by one of its owners, Crystal O'Connor,to a news station as controversy raged over Indiana's "religious freedom" law this week.

"If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no," O'Connor, who described the business as a "Christian establishment," told ABC57.

A GoFundme page set up to support the business raised $842,592 by Saturday morning. Donations are no longer being accepted. The fundraiser was set up after critics attacked pizza shop online, posting scathing reviews on Yelp and in one case threatening to burn down the business.

The GoFundMe account was set up by Lawrence Billy Jones III, a contributor for the conservative news platform The Blaze.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill Thursday clarifying that the law doesn't allow businesses to refuse serving gay people or other minority groups. The online fundraiser raised the staggering sum in just three days.


— Elisha Fieldstadt