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Pizzeria Reserves Right to Ban Lawmakers After Anti-Gay Bill

<p>Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria in Tucson said customers overwhelmingly support a sign asserting its right to refuse service to lawmakers.</p>

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