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An owner of a coffee shop in North Dakota responded to lawmakers' opposition of an anti-discrimination bill by giving them a taste of their own medicine — or java — and he said the stunt got a largely positive response.
North Dakota's Senate Bill 2279, which proponents say would have protected LGBT consumers against sexual discrimination, was voted down April 2, according to NBC station KVLY of Fargo. One of the worker-owners at Red Raven Espresso Parlor, an employee-owned coffee shop and event space in Fargo, decided to answer the opposition in an ironic way.
The owner, Joe Curry, posted a sign that said the legislators who nixed the bill were banned from the cafe "unless accompanied by a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual, queer, intersex or asexual person."
"The ban was, I thought, very tongue in cheek, requiring them to be escorted by someone from the LBGT community," Curry told The Associated Press. "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."
Some didn't get the joke. Republican state Rep. Jim Kasper said he supported the shop's decision to deny service to anyone it wanted, according to the AP. And state Rep. Josh Boschee, the state's only openly gay lawmaker, said he would have handled the situation differently.
Curry said Kasper and Boschee are among "just a handful" who didn't appreciate the gag, while the response of supporters on social media and customers has been "99.9 percent positive."
— Elisha Fieldstadt with The Associated Press