Today was not a good day to be Memories Pizza. The restaurant became the poster child for Indiana’s new religious freedom law after the owner said he would not service a gay wedding. We’ll leave aside the idea of a gay wedding serving pizza (I am now the 2,462,532nd person to use a variation of that joke today) and instead focus on the reaction.
Being the internet, it was swift and it was brutal. Their Yelp and Facebook pages were overwhelmed with negative comments and one-star reviews. Some supporters leaped into the fray to try to lend a head, but the majority of the responses took the owner and his wife to task for their views, and rightfully so.
But some of them focused on a rather unflattering picture of the wife and her undeniably unfortunate dentition. I’ll admit, I saw the picture and immediately thought of a joke. But I pushed it aside. Plenty of others didn’t. And it was absolutely the worst thing they could have done.
Picking on her looks only opens a diversionary avenue of defense. Instead of the argument being about bigotry and equal rights, supporters can now make it all about the cruel and heartless commenters making fun of her appearance. She becomes a sympathetic victim when she’s anything but. Yes, some will say these people don’t deserve kid gloves, but aren’t we better than that? Don’t we have reason and righteousness on our side, without resorting to grade school name-calling that only cheapens our cause?
That woman could have been a stunning beauty queen, and her ideas would still make her ugly. It’s what’s going on inside her head that should be confronted. That’s a hill to die on. That’s the right fight.