Civil Liberties

Indiana Pizza Shop Vows Not to Serve Gay People, But Owner Insists 'We're Not Discriminating Against Anyone'

The O'Connor family insists that they should retain the right to refuse gay customers.

Photo Credit: ABC Screenshot

All those times Indiana Gov. Mike Pence blathered on about how his state's new law wasn't actually a license to discriminate and how "I believe in my heart of hearts that no one should be harassed or mistreated because of who they are, who they love, or what they believe. And I believe every Hoosier shares that conviction," he might ought to have considered the caliber of the person who was then going to come out and announce they were taking advantage of the law and would be discriminating against gays going forward. Like for instance the O'Connor family, owners of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana.

“If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,” says Crystal O'Connor of Memories Pizza. [...]

“We're not discriminating against anyone, that's just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything,” says O'Connor.

Refusing to provide pizzas for someone's wedding because they're gay is not in fact a belief, it's an action. A discriminatory action, to be specific.

“I do not think it's targeting gays. I don't think it's discrimination,” says O'Connor. “It's supposed to help people that have a religious belief.”

Says the person who just announced her intent to discriminate against LGBT people because the law allows her to do so. It's supposed to help people who have a religious belief? What's it supposed to help them do? Discriminate—as you are so deftly showing.

“That lifestyle is something they choose. I choose to be heterosexual. They choose to be homosexual. Why should I be beat over the head to go along with something they choose?” says Kevin O'Connor.

I can't even. I mean, I guess ... thank you, O'Connor family? You have done a great job showing exactly why this law is so awful, the kind of mean-spirited bigotry it was passed to enable, and the degree to which all of Pence's talk of the Golden Rule and how Hoosiers are too nice to discriminate has been a shameless lie. You are the perfect voice for this, which is to say you are abhorrent, un-Christian people.

Of course we know the likely next chapter of this story: the O'Connor family goes whining to the right-wing media about how mean people have been to them (on Yelp, for instance) since they bravely expressed their bigotry and announced their intention to discriminate. Cry me a damn river.

Laura Clawson is the Labor editor at Daily Kos Labor, and a contributing editor at Daily Kos.