A family that owns an Indiana pizzeria reportedly said Tuesday that the state’s new “religious freedom” law protects their right to deny some service to gay couples.
Crystal O’Connor, whose family owns Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Ind., told local TV station WBND that their Christian beliefs would prevent them from catering a same-sex couple’s wedding.
“If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide them pizzas for a wedding, we would have to say no,” O’Connor told the news station.
Both O’Connor and her father, Kevin, told WBND that they supported the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence (R). After widespread backlash from the business community, Pence called for legislation to clarify that the law does not allow businesses to deny service to anyone.
O’Connor told WBND that she doesn’t believe the law allows for discrimination or specifically targets gays.
But her father suggested that the family shouldn’t be punished for refusing to cater same-sex weddings if they were asked to do so.
“That’s a lifestyle that you choose,” Kevin O’Connor told WBND. “I choose to be heterosexual. They choose to be homosexual. Why should I be beat over the head because they choose that lifestyle?”
The family later clarified for the news station that they would not deny service to a same-sex or non-Christian couple who came to eat at the restaurant.
Watch below via WBND:
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.