When it comes to discrimination, it would seem that a North Dakota coffee shop is flipping the script. State House members who voted down Senate Bill 2279 were recently targeted by a sign posted by the Red Raven Espresso Parlor in Fargo. The bill would have protected the LGBT community from discrimination.
The purpose of the notice was to send a message. It read: “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 annotation for the asterisk was underneath, saying: “Unless accompanied by a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer, Intersex or Asexual person.”
Owner Joe Curry told KFGO: “I think it does make an immediate point, while it is satire at the same time. Discrimination is an old way of thinking that should be put aside and that’s how many of us feel.” On the other hand, the move was not supported by all. A Democrat and North Dakota’s only openly gay lawmaker, State Rep. Josh Boschee, told the Associated Press he would have responded to the bill’s rejection differently. However, the message has resonated with many people, according to Curry.
Curry told AP: “I think that it struck a chord with a lot of people and I also think the statement was made. I feel all the people who shared it also felt a lot of accumulated disgust and anger. Basically, it did its job. A lot of discussion is now taking place, and from what I’ve been hearing, a lot of that discussion is positive.”