Wednesday, April 15, 2015

ND Coffee Shop Chimes in On Gay Rights

Fargo, North Dakota, coffee shop owner Joe Curry did not appreciate the 56 North Dakota legislators who voted against a bill that would have protected LGBT people from discrimination and decided to do something about it. He put up the following sign …

"Ban effective immediately. The listed Men & Women are now banned from entering this establishment.* This is based solely on age, gender, race, beliefs, color, religion & disability." The asterisk points to the following statement: "* Unless accompanied by a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Queer, Intersex or Asexual person."

After getting some criticism for replicating the behavior of the very people he was criticizing, he clarified that the entire stunt was merely satirical and that he would allow anyone to enter his coffee shop, even the 56 anti-equality voters, posting on Facebook the following message: “The Red Raven Espresso Parlor wants to clarify that all are welcome in our space. We do not attempt to discriminate. The intent of our 'ban' was to satirize the environment that the legislation created for the LGBTQ+ community by voting against SB 2279. Here at the Raven we have workers and patrons who are included in this community who are directly impacted by this stringent and detached ruling. We stand by these individuals, as they are our families and friends. Its time the legislation affirms what the majority believes to be a fair, human practice of non-discrimination.”

A local newspaper, The Forum, chimed in as well with a front page article with the faces of each of the lawmakers. Even as this hate mongering continues to go on largely unabated, it’s nice to see more and more people standing up to it.

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