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Signs Say 'All Are Welcome' In Downtown SF

May 17, 2014, 10:01 PM by Brady Mallory

Signs Say 'All Are Welcome' In Downtown SF
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

From knick knacks, to books, you will find all sorts of things Zandbroz Variety.

"We've been down here for 25 years, so we've certainly made our stamp on the community," Alix Hentges said.

This year, you will see a colorful stamp of approval hanging in the store's window. It is a rainbow sign, which reads, "All Are Welcome Here". It is one of several sitting in windows, including Mama's Ladas, Bros Brasserie Americano, and Vishnu Bunny Tattoo, in Downtown Sioux Falls.

"South Dakota does have a perception of being a very conservative community, so, maybe that sign lets them know at least this spot is not that conservative," Ryan Tracy, Bros Brasserie Americano Owner, said.

The Center for Equality handed out the signs out a few months ago in response to Senate Bill 128. The legislation would have allowed business owners to refuse to work with a gay couple, without getting sued.  The bill failed.

"I thought it was a waste of our time and our money. It pointed out these are the people I don't want representing me as a voter," Hentges said.

"I'm of the opinion that businesses should have the right to refuse service to anyone, however, that shouldn't be based on their sexual orientation, or anything else," Tracy said.

So far, Hentges and Tracy said there have been no complaints. The only input these businesses have received is positive.

"I think they know who they're dealing with, so they're smarter than that," Hentges said.

Hentges and Tracy said they are not trying to make any waves. They just hope that all types of people find out Downtown Sioux Falls is open to anyone and everyone.

"It's too bad we have to have a sign to say that. It's rather obvious that being downtown and seeing the smiles from the shop owners, the employees, that everyone is welcome," Hentges said.

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