The age-old debate is finally, and legally, over.
On February 9, the Florida State Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in favor of Florida Constitutional Amendment 7, outlawing the sale of pizza with pineapple from any business that makes or sells food.
This pineapple pizza ban goes into effect on June 30, 2021, giving chefs and business owners 141 days to sell their pineapple pizza products before it is punishable by a $5,000 fine.
The amendment containing the ban first went to court in December 2020, when chef and owner of Paula’s Pineapple Pizza Parlor Paula Palmer first took legal action against it. She sued it in district court, asserting that the new amendment was unconstitutional; it restricted her basic right to pursue happiness, as outlined in the Constitution of the State of Florida Article I, Section 2.
“My client felt as if her constitutional right was being stripped away by this shameful amendment,” Palmer’s lawyer Peter Portwell said in a recent press conference. “She felt she could not pursue happiness if she could not have the sweet and savory blend of pineapple and pizza.”
“My client felt as if her constitutional right was being stripped away by this shameful amendment.”Palmer’s lawyer Peter Portwell
Palmer lost her district court case when a judge ruled in favor of Amendment 7, but Palmer, along with her lawyer, appealed that decision to the Florida Supreme Court in late January 2021.
Palmer had been a vocal advocate against Amendment 7 since its inception in late 2018. She, along with supermarket owner Pasquale Pacifico, created the campaign Floridians for Pineapple Pizza in an attempt to nullify the amendment.
“You know, as the owner of a pizza joint centered around pineapple pizza, I had a lot at stake in the election and this lawsuit,” Palmer said. “When I saw the proposed [Amendment 7] on my Facebook page for the first time, I knew I had to fight like the devil to make sure that thing did not get passed.”
Floridians for Pineapple Pizza faced considerable opposition from Amendment 7 supporters throughout their campaign. According to former Floridians for Pineapple Pizza organizers, Amendment 7 supporters would often protest at their events.
“When I saw the proposed [Amendment 7] on my Facebook page for the first time, I knew I had to fight like the devil to make sure that thing did not get passed.”Chef and owner of Paula’s Pineapple Pizza Parlor Paula Palmer
“I remember we were holding a rally in opposition to Amendment 7 right before the election,” former Floridians for Pineapple Pizza Community Director Paxton Prescott said. “I’ll never forget, this young man walked up and screamed at us. He said, ‘We are in the middle of a pandemic, but you are holding a maskless rally for the stupidest cause in the history of our state. Y’all are the reason Florida gets such a bad rap.’ I’ll never forget it, he called me a Florida man. Can you believe that?”
In November 2020, Amendment 7 passed, garnering a record-breaking 98% approval and prompting Palmer’s lawsuit.
“I really did think [at the time that] the lawsuit would be able to overturn the amendment,” Palmer said. “I thought any judge or panel of justices would be able to see through it.”
Despite her loss in the state Supreme Court case, Palmer is determined to continue fighting.
“I will do whatever it takes to give pineapple pizza lovers their pizza rights back,” Palmer said. “Freedom of pizza topping should be included in our state and federal constitutions, and I will always fight for that.”
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Photo courtesy of Tasting Table