06 April 2015

Indiana Pizzeria Target of Intolerant Gays

A news director who tried to downplay the terrorist-like response of lesbian, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs) supporters to a personal and business decision of a local pizzeria to follow its religious beliefs is under fire. The Indiana TV station official labelled a high school coach's alleged Twitter threat to "burn down" a controversial pizzeria as merely a "mean tweet," instead of labelling it as an act of terrorism.

WBND-TV news boss Aaron Ramey used the arguably mild characterization to describe a Tweet attributed to Jess Dooley, head coach of the girl’s golf team at Concord High School in Elkhart, that called for people to help her set fire to Memories Pizza in Walkerton.

How’s that for tolerance, folks?

"Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me?" Dooley tweeted after Crystal O’Connor told Ramey’s South Bend station that her family’s pizzeria would not cater to gay weddings because of their Christian beliefs.

The threatening tweet from Dooley prompted a police investigation, a referral to prosecutors and Dooley's suspension. While police, Dooley's school and the family that owns the restaurant took the Twitter threat seriously, Ramey did not, according to critics.

"Teacher suspended for mean tweet about pizza place who won't cater gay weddings," Ramey said in a tweet that has since been deleted.

The school district suspended Dooley from her coaching duties pending further investigation. She deleted her Twitter account.

The Elkhart Truth said Dooley was a paraprofessional at Concord, not a teacher. Her employer is the Elkhart County Special Education Cooperative, which did not return calls for comment from the paper.

Walkerton Police Department investigated Dooley’s tweet and referred the case to local prosecutors for possible charges of harassment, intimidation and threats, Fox 28 reported Wednesday.