Reality TV Show Brings RFRA Case on Catering Gay Wedding to Your TV Screen
‘You the Jury’ brings up a controversial incident surrounding a pizzeria’s refusal to cater a gay wedding.
FOX’s new reality show You the Jury, debates multiple issues in front of a live studio audience.[/tweetit] The show debuted April 7 on FOX and is hosted by FOX News' very own Jeanine Pirro.
Reality TV Show Brings RFRA Case on Catering Gay Wedding to Your TV Screen[/tweetthis]
In the upcoming third episode will focus on the real life controversial anti-discrimination and religious freedom issue involving a same-sex couple and a pizza restaurant owner. The show will star Kevin O’Connor, the co-owner of Walkerton’s Memories Pizza and the same-sex couple, Brett McNeal and Darvin Lewis.
When asked about the episode, both parties refused to provide any comments. Similarly, a FOX spokesperson provided details about the air date, but, did not offer any other information.
In one of the show’s previews, we are shown O’Connor being questioned on whether he would cater a gay wedding, to which he responds with a “no”.
The Indiana Legislature, in 2015, with support from then-Governor Mike Pence, passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to offer protection from government impositions towards religious expression.
However, advocates for the LGBT community including the NCAA, Salesforce, and Eli Lilly and Co. spoke up against the act, stating it would allow for discrimination against LGBT members in the name of religion.
The opponents of the RFRA were mainly concerned with the possibility the act would protect conservative Christians from anti-discrimination laws. This led to amendments that prevented the RFRA from superseding local anti-discrimination ordinances. However, the amendments were met with criticism from conservative Christians, who are now challenging it.
Though there isn’t really an easy answer to the real-life situation involving LGBT equality and religious freedom, the reality show aims to suggest solutions by allowing viewers to vote on such controversial topics.
In another promotional clip of the show, we see the host, Jeanine Pirro, announcing the show as the “New face of American Justice”.
Darvin Lewis, who serves as a kindergarten teacher, called the RFRA a “slap in the face” and stated he chose to appear on the show to support a cause. Lewis, along with his fiancé McNeal, will be hosting a viewing party on April 21.
O’Connor received both, support and criticism, for his beliefs. In fact, his pizzeria had to close for a short while after the incident led to the controversy.
When questioned about how the controversy affected his business, O’Connor replied it was hard to say and he really didn’t bother to discuss it with anybody. He also added that he only promoted his views on gay marriage when it was only asked of him.
He also mentioned he wouldn’t watch the show because it would seem like listening to your own voice on an audio recording.
The show will have an LA-based attorney and LGBT advocate, Mike Cavalluzzi, and a Florida-based attorney, Benjamin L. Crump, who has represented Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin, debating the case.
The episode Pizza will air April 21 at 9 p.m.