Memories Pizza In Indiana Receives Donations After Backlash Over Gay Weddings Stance

04/02/2015 12:58 am ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

An Indiana pizzeria under fire for saying it would refuse to cater a gay wedding shut down on Wednesday after its owners said they received threatening messages.

However, a GoFundMe page set up for Memories Pizza in Walkerton has raised more than $40,000 in just six hours.

The pizzeria made national headlines this week when its owners called the business a "Christian establishment" and said the state's contentious Religious Freedom Restoration Act would allow it to refuse to make pizzas for a hypothetical gay wedding.

That led to a flood of angry reviews on Yelp as well as the threatening messages.

I don’t know if we will re-open, or if we can, if it’s safe to re-open,” co-owner Crystal O’Connor told TheBlaze, the news network run by conservative talk show host Glenn Beck. “We’re in hiding basically, staying in the house.”

The fundraiser was set up by Dana Loesch of TheBlaze, and Lawrence B. Jones III, a contributor to the network.

"Nobody should ever have to suffer or suffer alone for their faith, for standing up for Christian principles," Loesch said on her broadcast.

Earlier in the day, Memories co-owner Kevin O'Conner said he would serve a gay customer in his store, but wouldn't provide pizzas for a gay wedding.

That lifestyle is something they choose. I choose to be heterosexual," O'Conner told ABC 57. "They choose to be homosexual. Why should I be beat over the head to go along with something they choose?”

O'Conner also told the Daily Beast that he had never been asked to cater a gay wedding.

“I don’t turn anybody away from the store, I don’t have a problem with gay people," he was quoted as saying. "I just don’t condone the marriage.”

After the story went viral, the restaurant's Yelp page quickly filled with negative reviews and images. However, those reviews will likely be removed as they do not describe a firsthand customer experience at the business.

"Non-germane, media-fueled reviews typically violate our Content Guidelines," a Yelp spokesperson told The Huffington Post. "One of these deals with relevance. For example, reviews aren't the place for rants about a business's employment practices, political ideologies, extraordinary circumstances, or other matters that don't address the core of the consumer experience."

Reviews that don't meet guidelines are generally removed.

The Huffington Post's Cavan Sieczkowski contributed to this report.

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