A lesbian woman is defending her decision to give money to the Indiana pizza shop that has made international headlines with making over $800,000 in donations after its Christian owners said they would not cater same-sex weddings because of the state's now-amended "religious objections" law.
As the Blaze reports, Courtney Hoffman is one of the thousands of people who donated money to a crowdfunding campaign for Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Ind. after the shop closed down indefinitely and its owners claim they are in hiding over death threats they received.
The owners of the pizzeria came under fire after co-owner Crystal O'Connor told a local TV station that she supported Indiana's new religious objections law, which was later tweaked to ensure gay people would not be discriminated against. The restaurant's Facebook and Yelp pages have been overflowed with negative reviews, as the Associated Press reports.
Though she donated just $20, Hoffman defended her gift on the gofundme.com page.
"As a member of the gay community, I would like to apologize for the mean-spirited attacks on you and your business," she wrote, according to the Blaze. "I know many gay individuals who fully support your right to stand up for your beliefs and run your business according to those beliefs. We are outraged at the level of hate and intolerance that has been directed at you and I sincerely hope that you are able to rebuild."
Gay Star News notes that when Hoffman's message was picked up on social media, she was called a "traitor" and "self-hating." Nevertheless, she continues to defend her donation.
"My girlfriend and I are small business owners, and we think there is a difference between operating in a public market space and then attaching the name of your business to a private event," she said on the Jeff Adams Show podcast. "Like, if we were asked to set up at an anti-gay marriage rally, I mean, we would have to decline."
She said the LGBT community knows "full well what it's like to be condemned for doing nothing but living your life according to your beliefs."
"We know so many gay individuals that fully support the freedom of living your life according to your beliefs and feel that freedom extends to everyone, even the people that we don't agree with," Hoffman added.
While she received some heat on social media, she's also got many responses that are "so positive and amazing."
"There's this tendency to group people together - they are either one thing or they are another," she said. "I just think there's a lot of room for differences and similarities between all of these businesses, all of these communities, and if we can remember that differences don't equal maliciousness, and try to find what we have in common - you know, the ands instead of the ors. Maybe we can move beyond threats of violence and have open discussions of the things that we don't agree on."
As of this writing, Memories Pizza's gofundme page has $842,442.
From our media partner EDGE