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Local business owner defends controversial transgender sign

NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio -- A controversial sign outside a local auto shop has a community buzzing.  Some people believe the sign is anti-transgender.

"I've been here since 1984.  I put up sports signs, political signs, I like to dig at the Browns a lot," said Jay Linn, who owns the Northridge Auto Repair and Service in North Ridgeville.

But a recent sign outside his auto shop has a lot of people upset.

The sign reads, "If you don’t know who you identify as, pull down your pants and look."

"I'm a believer that when God put you here, he put you here as what you are," said Linn.

There are many people, however, who are outraged by the sign.

Linn says a lot of them have called his store to let him know.

"There is no malice to the sign, no hate in the sign. My point is, if you can't identify, you have a choice to see how God put you here," said Linn.

In addition to the voicemails, Linn says a handful of people stood outside his shop in protest over the weekend.

They held signs calling his sign both hateful and intolerant.

"The protesters were not out here throwing anything or burning anything down. And I think that needs to be encouraged. People need to be able to speak their mind and they need to be able to use the first amendment," said Laura Barbour, a resident of North Ridgeville.

The sign is now down, replaced by another.

Linn has no plans to censor his opinion on any others in the future.

"I will never change me. I'm the furthest thing from political correctness you've ever seen. I really am," said Linn.

Linn also serves as city council president for Olmsted Falls.

He says the mayor is aware of his sign, and they've had a discussion, but it has no bearing on his position there.