Fort Wayne newspaper sells ads off the ‘religious freedom’ controversy

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette hopes to make a few bucks from the “religious freedom” controversy.

The paper is inviting businesses to pay $135 for an ad in this Sunday’s paper that lets people know “We Serve Everybody.”
Paul Demaree, owner of the Firefly Coffee House, passed on the offer. “While we are disgusted by this law,” he writes on Facebook, “we do not feel comfortable with the idea of having to pay to state what we have always been.”

He added in a phone interview this morning: “We don’t do any advertising. We can’t afford it . It’s a coffee house.”

Demaree, who has been in business for 16 years, repeated to me what he posted on Facebook: “We feel that maybe those businesses who wish to discriminate ought to have to put signs on their doors stating their support of this draconian law and then list the requirements for being able to be served.”

Deb Hess, the newspaper’s local display ad sales manager, forwarded my call to the Fort Wayne Newspapers business office when I asked how many retailers were paying for the “We Serve Everybody” ads. I got voicemail and left a message, which hasn’t been returned.

* Firefly Coffee House says no-thanks to ad solicitation (

Also: Student press groups write to the Indianapolis Marriott about their RFRA concerns (

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