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‘This business serves everyone’ stickers welcome LGBT customers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – As the Religious Freedom bill is set to be debated in the Indiana House, some are questioning whether it protects religious beliefs or opens the door to discrimination.

Supporters of this bill say it doesn’t legalize discrimination.

But those in the LGBT community aren’t buying it. So to counter it, a new organization is looking to show people where they can shop and be themselves.

Many businesses on Mass Ave have little blue stickers in the window, saying, “This business serves everyone.”

One of them is Crimson Tate.

“This is a place to come and be inspired to learn, to sew, to create cool things. That’s what we do,” said Heather Givans, the shop’s owner.

She placed the sticker on her window last week.

“Crimson Tate, the business that I own, that I run, is open for anyone to come through these doors,” said Givans.

Some on Mass Ave say the whole debate is unwarranted.

“I think its kind of ridiculous that people don’t want to accept business from people that are willing to give it,” said Dior Williams.

“If I’m going to pay my money, if I want to go somewhere, I should be free to go, eat, shop, and do things where ever I please,” said Jazmin Zinnerman.

Eighteen other states have similar laws.

The bill passed the state senate last month.

“This bill acts as a shield and not a sword. It is a protector for those who want to practice religious freedom,” said Senator Scott Schneider, the bill’s sponsor.

The person behind the stickers is Josh Driver.

In just the past four days, over 100 Indiana businesses have joined.

“We really just are answering the question: where should I be taking my money?” said Driver.

The organization is Open for Service. Driver says his hopes are to build a database of businesses that show they’re open to everyone.

“I would rather just be able to say, ‘Well we know that this business isn’t going to do this for you, here’s 10, 12, 15 businesses that are going to,'” said Driver.

The stickers cost $10 and the proceeds go to SCORE an entrepreneurial organization that mentors up and coming businesses.

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Shoe art by Kokomo native stolen from northern Indiana museum

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WISH) — A shoe by an Indiana native was stolen Saturday from a northern Indiana art museum.

South Bend Museum of Art is seeking help to find the thief of a shoe from the piece titled “Welcome Knives,” part of an exhibit by Kokomo native Chris Francis that’s traveled to other U.S. museums. His work has been described as wearable architecture.

The shoe disappeared between 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday while the museum was open. The museum staff and city police are reviewing surveillance video from the Century Center to gain a lead. South Bend’s show called “Chris Francis: Modern Bespoke 21st Century Shoe Art” is in the downtown Century Center through April 5.

Francis, who grew up in Kokomo and now lives in Los Angeles, said in a statement that he was “saddened to be informed that someone has chosen to steal the piece ‘Welcome Knives’ from the exhibition. The shoes exhibited are all documented and catalogued works of art that have shown in many museums. Every shoe in the exhibition is one of a kind, with no others in existence making them very different than shoes we find in stores.”

Francis has created shoes for runway shows and for celebrities, including Lady Gaga and the members of Kiss and The Sex Pistols.

His work was displayed late last year on the Purdue University campus.

Anyone with information was asked to call the South Bend Police Department at (574) 235.9201 or contact the South Bend Museum of Art via email at info@southbendart.org, or through the museum’s social media accounts: Facebook, @SouthBendMuseumofArt; Twitter, @southbendart; Instagram, @southbendart.

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