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Indiana pizzeria raises $500,000 after saying it wouldn't cater a gay wedding

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Crowdfunding campaign launched after pizzeria's Yelp page was flooded with negative reviews

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A crowdfunding page in support of Memories Pizza, the Indiana pizzeria that drew criticism this week for saying it wouldn't cater gay weddings, has raised nearly $500,000 in 24 hours. A GoFundMe page was set up this week after the restaurant's Yelp page was flooded with negative reviews.

A call to "combat the leftist hatred."

On Tuesday, one of the pizzeria's co-owners told a local news affiliate that "[i]f a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no." Memories Pizza said they would continue to serve gay customers that came into their store. The remarks came after Republican Governor Mike Pence signed a controversial "religious freedom" law that critics said could be used by businesses to justify discrimination against gay or transgender customers. Yesterday, amid widespread boycott threats and condemnation from public figures, Pence approved a clarification to the bill that explicitly prohibits businesses from denying employment or service based on an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.

The GoFundMe page was set up by Lawrence Jones, a contributor to a show on Glenn Beck's The Blaze TV network, "to relieve the financial loss endured by the proprietors’ stand for faith." TMZ reported yesterday that the restaurant temporarily closed its doors, with co-owner Kevin O'Connor saying the company had received threatening phone calls and messages on social media. The crowdfunding page quickly met its initial goal of $25,000, and, at the time of this writing, has amassed more than $493,000. The page's header also encourages supporters to like the Facebook page for Dana, the program on The Blaze, in order to "combat the leftist hatred" that other commenters have left there.

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