Indiana's Memories Pizza Reopens—$842K Richer

Owner Kevin O'Connor says his views on gay marriage haven't changed
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2015 9:00 AM CDT
Indiana's Memories Pizza Reopens—$842K Richer
Many customers wait for service as Memories Pizza reopens for business Thursday, April, 9, 2015, in Walkerton, Ind.   (AP Photo/Tom Coyne)

Memories Pizza is open and ready to serve once again, assuming you're not a gay couple looking for a wedding caterer. The Indiana pizzeria gained either fame or infamy, depending on your views, after the owner backed the state's controversial religious freedom law and said he would happily serve gay customers but would not cater a gay wedding. Kevin O'Connor was hit with threats and closed the eatery for eight days, but it reopened yesterday to what the AP terms "a full house of friends, regulars, and people wanting to show their support"—and, at least as of last night, no protests. As for the brouhaha, it didn't change O'Connor's mind; he still says gay customers are welcome but gay weddings are off the table.

"I'd do the same thing again. It's my belief. It's our belief. It's what we grew up on," he says. "I'm just sorry it comes to this because neither one of us [his daughter echoed his original comments] dislike any of those people. I don't hold any grudges." In addition to the threats and criticism, the pizzeria will also receive $842,387 donated by about 29,000 people in a now-finished crowdfunding campaign. O'Connor says he'll use some of the money to improve the restaurant, but will also donate to charity ... and to Barronelle Stutzman, a Washington state florist who was fined when she refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding, O'Connor tells the Daily Mail. (More Indiana stories.)

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