Coffee shop bans anti gay rights lawmakers

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A Fargo barista placed a controversial sign in the shop banning North Dakota lawmakers who opposed a gay rights bill.

A newspaper page was put up in the coffee shop Red Raven Espresso Parlor, exposing the 55 Republicans who rejected a bill that would have stopped sexuality-based discrimination. A sign attached to this said the legislators were banned, “unless accompanied by a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual, queer, intersex or asexual person.”

North Dakota’s Senate Bill 2279 was pledged to protect LGBT individuals from descrimination, but was voted down on April 2.

The message was a tongue-in-cheek stunt put up by staff member Joe Curry in response to opposition of the bill. He claims the customer response has been “99.9 per cent positive.” He described most of his customers as “lefties”, and said he wanted to use the hoke to make a serious point.

Curry said: “The ban was, I thought, very tongue in cheek, requiring them to be escorted by someone from the LBGT community,” Curry said Wednesday. “I hope that they thought about it, at least, and I hope some of them giggled. But in the end, they are all welcome here.”

North Dakota is a largely Conservative state which recently urged the US Supreme Court to uphold same-sex marriage bans. The state has not legalised same sex marriage.