An Arizona pizzeria that threatened to ban lawmakers who passed a bill allowing shopkeepers to refuse service to gays on religious grounds says customer approval has been "overwhelming."
"One lady called and said she would never eat here again, but that’s been dwarfed by the 500 or so calls in the other direction," said Evan Stevens, manager of Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria in Tucson.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, hasn't said yet whether she will sign the bill, which was passed by the Legislature late Thursday. Supporters of the proposed law say it expands religious freedom; opponents say it legalizes discrimination.
Rocco DiGrazia, the pizzeria owner, waded into the debate with a tweet that said he reserved the "right to eject any State Senators we see fit to kick out."
He followed up with a sign in the window that he said has drawn an almost entirely positive response.
Stevens said the boss decided to take a stand because he has so many gay employers and customers. He said he had not heard of other businesses following suit.
— Tracy Connor
First published February 21 2014, 4:15 PM
Tracy Connor is a senior writer for NBC News. She started this role in December, 2012. Connor is responsible for reporting and writing breaking news, features and enterprise stories for NBCNews.com. Connor joined NBC News from the New York Daily News, where she was a senior writer covering a broad range of news and supervising the health and immigration beats. Prior to that she was an assistant city editor who oversaw breaking news and the courts and entertainment beats.
Earlier, Connor was a staff writer at the New York Post, United Press International and Brooklyn Paper Publications.
Connor has won numerous awards from journalism organizations including the Deadline Club and the New York Press Club.
She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.