An Indiana pizza shop at the epicenter of the fight for religious liberty has raised over $842,000 online while its owners have gone underground.
Supported by conservative personalities such as Dana Loesch, a television host on Blaze TV, Ben Howe, and Lawrence Jones, “Support Memories Pizza” raised a total of $842,387 on fundraising website GoFundMe—in just 2 days.
The giving campaign is now closed.
In a video posted Wednesday by The Blaze, owner Crystal O’Connor said that they are considering leaving Indiana, and that they are “basically in hiding” due to the backlash after WBND-TV aired a story featuring her reaction to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
“The news took it totally out of proportion. They lied about it. We said that we would serve anyone that walked in that door, even gays,” O’Connor said.
“But we would not condone a wedding,” she continued, “That’s against our religious beliefs.”
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O’Connor’s pizza shop closed after receiving threats of violence, such as this tweet from a high school softball coach. Jess Dooley has been suspended for the tweet, and her Twitter account has since been deleted, reported by WNDU-TV.
— Leah (@LeahR77) April 1, 2015
“I have absolutely no income coming at all,” O’Connor told Loesch in the video.
Conservatives rallied to O’Connor’s aid, and “stood in the gap,” according to the GoFundMe web page.
“Our goal was simply to help take one thing off this family’s plate as the strangers sought to destroy them. But other strangers came to the rescue and the total just keeps going up,” the page, which has been shared 87,000 times, reads.
“Thank you to everyone for your generosity.”
On Twitter, conservatives celebrated.
— DL (@JestHerMan) April 4, 2015
— Michael D. Colangelo (@MDColangelo) April 4, 2015
And liberals fumed.
— Resist Tyranny (@ResistTyranny) April 4, 2015
— MADMOM (@madmommadmom) April 4, 2015
— Xine (@xinemd) April 4, 2015
Perhaps this might start a trend to help those who are sandbagged for their views.
— Low Info Buffalo (@DeadBuffaloBlog) April 4, 2015