Bar Can Deny Service Based On Political Belief, Says Manhattan Judge
A Philadelphia accountant named Greg Piatek sued a bar called The Happiest Hour on West 10th Street in New York City because he was kicked out of the bar based on his political belief. On Wednesday, a judge ruled that the bar was within their right to eject the man from their establishment and that the law does not protect people against political discrimination. The NY Post detailed that the man was then escorted out of the bar. The incident took place in January 2017.
It all began when Piatek complained about the service at the bar because he and his friends believed the bartender was being rude. Instead of an apology, however, the group was denied service by staff. Piatek was sporting a Make America Great Again hat, and the staff kicked him out based on his politics after proclaiming the following.
“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!”
The bar’s lawyer, Elizabeth Conway, said that the bar does not have to respect the man’s political beliefs and that only religious beliefs are protected from discrimination. Piatek’s lawyer, Paul Liggieri, then argued that the hat was part of his spiritual belief because he wore it to “pay spiritual tribute to the victims of 9/11.”
Justice David Cohen ultimately stated that the “plaintiff does not state any faith-based principle to which the hat relates,” and that the case was merely a “petty” slight.
This is not the first time that a MAGA hat-related incident has made the news. Just recently on April 13, a Danish tourist was robbed at knifepoint when he was boarding a subway at Union Square on a Thursday afternoon. But the robbers didn’t steal the man’s money, merely his MAGA hat. The tourist, Jannich Andersen, was asked by one of the robbers if he knew what the hat symbolized, and then took the hat from him. Andersen didn’t want to give up so easily and wrestled the hat back. However, the man then followed him and grabbed the hat, until one of the robbers mentioned one of them had a knife with them. Andersen walked away from the incident, not wanting the situation to escalate.