A Tucson pizzeria has taken a public stand against the Arizona legislators who have approved an anti-gay bill. Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria has posted a sign to its window and on its Facebook page that reads: "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Arizona Legislators." That post has over 11,000 likes. The pizzeria is also sticking to its guns on Twitter, writing: "As a longtime employer and feeder of the gay community, Rocco's reserves the right to eject any State Senators we see fit to kick out..."
Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria posted the sign in response to House Bill 2153/Senate Bill 1062, which has been called the "right to discriminate" bill. According to the Republic, the main provisions of the bill would "expand the state's definition of the exercise of religion to include both the practice and observance of religion," allowing people and businesses "to assert a free-exercise-of-religion defense" in refusing service to whomever they choose.
As a longtime employer and feeder of the gay community, Rocco's reserves the right to eject any State Senators we see fit to kick out...— Rocco's Pizzeria (@tucsonpizza) February 20, 2014
Explains one Republican representative: "We don't want the government coming in and forcing somebody to act against their religious sacred faith beliefs or having to sell out if you are a small-business owner." In practice, this means businesses could refuse service to gay people under claims of freely exercising their religion. The bill was passed by the legislature yesterday, and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) has five days to decide whether or not to sign it into law.
In spite of their claims on Twitter that they aren't trying to stir up trouble, Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria seems to have taken a page from Memphis chef Kelly English's playbook. Last week English spoke out against the so-called "Turn Away the Gays" senate bill in Tennessee, posting on Facebook that he would "host a political fundraiser" for anyone willing to run against the bill's original backer. That bill was shot down this week.
· Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria [Facebook via Naples News]
· Arizona Legislature OKs Religion Bill; On Way to Gov. Brewer [Republic]
· All Arizona Coverage on Eater [-E-]