Local pizzeria feels the heat after comment on Indiana's RFRA
A pizzeria in Walkerton is feeling the heat.
Owners of Memories Pizza say their business reflects their Christian beliefs.They wouldn't deny service to a gay person at their restaurant, but they would refuse to make pizzas for a same-sex wedding.
A lot of people are posting negative comments about the pizzeria.
In some cases there have been threats. Some people say the owners are good people and they don't deserve this negative attention.
Others don't agree.
Memories Pizza in Walkerton didn't open at the time it was supposed to Wednesday. A few disappointed customers went thinking they would have some pizza but instead they were greeted by a closed sign.
Quinn Hochstetler supports the owners of Memories Pizza and he says,"These are folks that go to bat for anybody in this community. Anybody that's needed a hand-up, that's needed volunteers, that's needed money."
People took to websites like Yelp to proclaim their distaste for the comments made by the owners of Memories Pizza.
One said, "What kind of an idiot sabotages their business's future by declaring they won't serve a certain type of person."
Another says, "Now that your discriminatory practices are on display for everyone to see, your restaurant will soon be nothing but a memory."
Hochstetler knows the owners of the pizzeria.
He says it's hypocritical that the people who are arguing for acceptance and inclusion are saying horrible things online.
Hochstetler says, "I was just amazed that the threats were coming out the way they were. i just don't understand."
An assistant softball coach at Concord Community Schools has been suspended because of her tweet allegedly threatening the pizzeria.
Jessica Dooley allegedly posted a message on Twitter saying, "Who's going to Walkerton to burn down Memories Pizza with me?"
Walkerton Police say she may face possible charges including harassment and intimidation.
John Garrett owns Garrett's Treasures in downtown Walkerton and he says, 'We don't discriminate against anybody. Everybody's money is green."
He disagrees with the comments the owners of Memories Pizza made.
Garrett says, "Your personal opinions should not be brought in to your business. We shouldn't discriminate. I actually don't have a problem with gays, straights or blacks or whites."
At one point this afternoon a band from Chicago got pizzas from somewhere else and walked around downtown Walkerton offering people "non-discriminatory slices."
Police were standing around outside the pizzeria for awhile too.
A conservative website setup a donation page online that's already raised thousands of dollars for the owners of the pizzeria.
Below is a release sent by the Assistant Chief of Police, Charles Kulp:
The Walkerton Police Department is committed to extending professional police services to all in need, regardless of said person's sexual, religious, or political views. We encourage all to follow Indiana Laws and Statutes. We ask that all frustrations and rebuttals with Memories Pizza's recent media statements remain within the law.
Questions have arisen based upon Jessica Dooley's twitter comment "Who's going to Walkerton with me to burn down Memories Pizza". The Walkerton Police Department has finished an investigation into this statement and summited a case to the St. Joseph County Prosecutors office for possible charging of harassment, intimidation, and threats.
Once again, the Walkerton Police Department urges all to follow Indiana State law! Any and all violations of Indiana State Statue will be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Assistant Chief of Police,
Charles Kulp PE#280
Walkerton Police Department