Indiana Pizza Place Forced to Close Doors After Refusing to Cater Gay Wedding

EXCLUSIVE

0401-memories-pizza-closed-FACEBOOK-01Memories Pizza -- the first Indiana business to declare it would refuse LGBT business -- got blasted on the Internet and by phone, but the owner says there's been a huge misunderstanding ... sorta.

Kevin O’Connor tells TMZ he's had to temporarily close his business after he told a reporter he would refuse to cater a gay wedding under Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act. O'Connor says he was immediately flooded by threatening phone calls, and social media postings.

O'Connor wants to clear up one thing: He says he would never deny service to gay people in his restaurant. However, due to his religious beliefs, he does not believe in gay marriage ... and that's why he wouldn't service one.

Meanwhile, he says the threats have been serious enough that he's closing his pizza joint ... at least until the dust settles. 

Indiana's controversial law has raised a lot of questions, not the least of which is ... what gay wedding would hire a pizza place to cater?