A man was kicked out of a bar in New York City last year for wearing a red "Make America Great Again" cap.
Philadelphia accountant Greg Piatek and his friends were at the Happiest Hour bar, where he says a bar employee told him, “Anyone who supports Trump—or believes in what you believe—is not welcome here! And you need to leave right now because we won’t serve you!”
He sued the bar, and yesterday a New York City judge ruled that it is legal for a private business to refuse service if you are a Trump supporter. They can also refuse to serve someone for being a Democrat.
According to the Miami Herald:
Barring state or local laws, private businesses generally have the right to refuse service to anyone as long as they aren't discriminating based on race, color, religion or national origin. Politics is not on the list.
When Piatek heard this, he tried to convince the judge that being a Trump supporter did fall into the religion category.
According to Fortune:
Following the incident, Piatek sued the bar for offending “his sense of being American.” When The Happiest Hour’s lawyer noted that only religious beliefs are protected under city and state discrimination laws, Piatek attempted to pivot, suggesting that his hat reflected a “spiritual belief” and argued that he had donned the hat in “spiritual tribute” while visiting the 9/11 memorial prior to going to the bar.
It's hard for me to understand how anyone can be a Trump supporter, but it's also hard for me to understand how a person minding their own business in a bar (if that's indeed what he was doing) can be ordered to leave because of a hat they are wearing. Maybe they could have just asked him to take it off? Discrimination against political views might be legal, but it's also unsettling.
Image: Gage Skidmore - https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/25858555481/, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link