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Memories Pizza, Which Refused to Cater Same-Sex Weddings, Is No More


The Indiana restaurant, one of the first to reject same-sex couples under the guise of "religious freedom," has gone out of business.

Memories Pizza has put a sign out declaring the shop has permanently shut down last month, reports The South Bend Tribune.The Walkerton pizzeria was once at the center of a national controversy over LGBT discrimination.

In April 2015, owners Kevin and Crystal O'Connor told local media that they wouldn't cater a gay wedding because of their religious beliefs. It was one of the first businesses to go on the record that it would refuse services related to same-sex weddings.

At that time, then-Governor Mike Pence had signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the state, which many viewed as a "get out of jail free card" for business people who discriminated against LGBT patrons in the name of Christianity.

The video report of Memories Pizza went viral. Protests and death threats against the O'Connors led the store to close for eight days. Even a Concord High School coach was fired for commenting on Twitter, "Who's going to Walkerton with me to burn down Memories Pizza." But after Glenn Beck's The Blaze (which springboarded Tomi Lauren's career) started a GoFundMe account to support the restauranteurs, they received more than $800,000 in donations.

Kevin O'Connor has returned to the spotlight several times since the controversy. A year later he told The Tribune, "If your opinion isn't what somebody else's is, then I'm a dirtbag. Just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I have to hate you." He appeared on Fox News' You The Jury, pitted against a gay couple from Indianapolis.

In an interview with The Daily Mail, the O'Connor's maintained they weren't sorry for their discriminatory practices.

"They are more than welcome to come in and eat," said Kevin O'Connor of gay potential customers. "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!"

It is unknown if the store closed due to the 2015 controversy. Some reports say that the owners are just beginning their retirement.

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