Judge Sides with Manhattan Bar Against Patron Wearing MAGA Hat

If Kanye West wears his “Make America Great Again” hat to a New York City bar, beware! He might not be served. When a Trump supporter sued The Happiest Hour for saying he wasn’t welcome, a Manhattan judge sided with the bar. As far as the court is concerned, if a business wants to bounce conservatives, it’s welcome to.

The incident happened in West Village the month Trump was inaugurated. Greg Piatek was in town to visit the 9/11 memorial and said he wore his MAGA hat to The Happiest Hour to grab a drink. Instead, what he got was kicked out! According to his testimony, a staffer 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!”

The 31-year-old accountant took the bar to court, saying it “offended his sense of being American.” That may be, Justice David Cohen pointed out, but there’s no law on the books protecting against political discrimination. As ridiculous (and ill-advised) as it may be to turn away conservatives, we support the owners’ right to operate how they see fit. If liberals want to hurt themselves by alienating customers, that’s their choice. But it should also be a choice that Christians are allowed to make when it comes to things like same-sex weddings.

Unfortunately, the same people cheering Cohen’s ruling are, in many cases, the same ones who want to force bakers to create custom cakes that violate their faith. For shop owners like Jack Phillips, it’s all the more maddening to be hauled to court by LGBT activists when you see that they have no trouble embracing the freedom to believe when it comes to their own agenda. And unlike the liberal owners of this bar, Jack, Barronelle Stutzman, and so many others didn’t turn clients away — they happily offered to sell them anything in their stores. They didn’t deny anyone service; they simply asked not to participate in a ceremony they morally oppose.

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When Christians try to exercise the same freedom that Sophie Theallet did when she refused to dress the First Lady, they’re threated with thousands of dollars, jail time, or both! I’m fine with designers declining to dress the Trumps or bars refusing service to Republicans — but I’m not fine with the double standard.

Like most conservatives, I may disagree with Theallet and The Happiest Hour, but I support their right of conscience. No one should be forced to give up their constitutional rights to do their job. But instead of singling out conservatives for punishment, it’s time to apply the same freedom to everyone. The Left cannot continue to light a same-sex unity candle with the match it’s taking to the First Amendment. Tolerance is for everyone — or it isn’t tolerance at all.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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