Pizzeria gets more than $740K after closing doors

WALKERTON, Ind. (WANE) –  As of Friday afternoon, Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Ind. has gotten more than $740,000 in GoFundMe donations. The owner of the pizzeria has considered closing after announcing that it wouldn’t serve pizza at a gay couple’s wedding.

“If a gay couple was to come in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no.”  Those words are putting some serious heat on Crystal O’Conner, who owns Memories Pizza in Walkerton.

People are taking to websites including Yelp to blast the owners.  One comment says, “I would not spend my money to spread hate and evil.”  Another says, “It looks like the free market put these bigots out of business.”  The pizzeria has temporarily closed its doors and Walkerton police have stepped up patrols in response to threats made against the owners.

The assistant softball coach of a nearby school has been suspended for a tweet she allegedly posted threatening the pizzeria.  It reads, “Who’s going to Walkerton to burn down Memories Pizza with me?”

“These are folks that go to bat for anybody in this community,” said Quinn Hochstetler, who supports the family.  “Anybody that’s needed a hand up, that’s needed volunteers, that’s needed money.”

Some agree with the owner’s comments.  “I don’t see how it affects the nation,” said Brandon Dickson.  “I’ll still go there and buy pizza. I have no problem with that at all. I think what they did, that’s their opinion, that’s their right.”

In fact, a GoFundMe account started in support of Memories Pizzeria had raised $200,000 as of Thursday afternoon, and less than 24-hours later the account jumped to having $740,000 in donations.

The owner’s comments continue to stir debate.  “I mean, to be honest with you, who has pizza at their wedding reception?” James Cain said.  ” To me it’s just them saying, ok well, we’re Christians so if you’re gay we’re not serving you.”

Whether Memories Pizzeria will serve anyone in Walkerton again, remains to be seen.

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