Arizona pizzeria’s amazing response to state’s anti-gay bill
Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria in Tucson is ready to serve up delicious deep dish pizza—unless you’re an Arizona legislator. The restaurant’s owner posted up a Facebook message blasting Arizona’s politicians for passing SB 1062, a bill that allows businesses to refuse service to gay or lesbian customers.
By Carol Kuruvilla / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, February 22, 2014, 3:35 PM
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Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria wanted to let Arizona politicians know what the restaurant thinks about Senate Bill 1062.
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An Arizona pizzeria is serving legislators a slice of humble pie.
Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria in Tucson had a message for the politicians who supported a bill that allows business owners to refuse to serve gays and lesbians.
“We reserve the right to refuse service to Arizona legislators,” the sign read.
“Funny how just being decent is starting to seem radical these days,” the restaurant commented on Facebook.
Owner Rocco DiGrazia said he was appalled that the bill, SB 1062, had passed through both houses of the Arizona legislature.
Arizona Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria has been getting numerous positive responses to their show of support for the gay and lesbian community.
“The sentiment is that any expansion of discrimination is gonna hurt everybody and open the doors for more,” he told AZ Starnet.
After DiGrazia posted his feelings about the bill on the restaurant’s Facebook page, a follower turned his words into a sign. The pizza lover hit print, laminated the sign, and placed it front and center in his restaurant.
Since then, his message has gotten thousands of “likes” and customers are waiting in line for a chance to eat some deep dish and show their support.
Around 250 protesters gathered outside Arizona’s Capitol on Saturday, demanding that Gov. Jan Brewer veto the legislation. More than 200 people protested in Tucson, as well.
Republicans say the law is needed to protect people who have legitimate religious objections to gay marriage. Democrats argue it will be a license to discriminate.
Ross D. Franklin/AP
Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, (standing) denounced the bill as discrimination.
Some business owners say the bill will have profound negative effects on the state’s economy, especially in light of the upcoming Super Bowl 2015.
“This legislation has the potential of subjecting the Super Bowl, and major events surrounding it, to the threats of boycotts,” the Greater Phoenix Economic Council wrote in a letter.
SB 1062 is being pushed by the conservative Center for Arizona Policy. Its president Cathi Herrod slammed opponents for “showing unbelievable hostility toward religious beliefs.”
“The Arizona bill has a very simple premise, that Americans should be free to live and work according to their religious faith. It’s simply about protecting religious liberty and nothing else,” Herrod told CNN.
But if it passes, the bill won’t have an effect on Rocco’s. DiGrazia says a number of his loyal customers are gay, as well as some of his wait staff.
“Why discriminate against anybody?” he said. “I’m just trying to make some food.”