A New York state judge ruled Wednesday that it is perfectly legal for a bar to eject a patron for wearing a MAGA hat.
A Manhattan judge ruled Wednesday that there’s nothing “outrageous” about throwing the president’s supporters out of bars — because the law doesn’t protect against political discrimination.
Philadelphia accountant Greg Piatek, 31, was bounced from a West Village watering hole in January 2017, just after Trump took the oath of office, for wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap, according to his lawsuit over the incident.
“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!” Piatek claims the staff of The Happiest Hour on West 10th Street told him after he and his pals complained about the rude service they were getting from a bartender.
So he sued in Manhattan Supreme Court, claiming the incident “offended his sense of being American.”
This is not a huge shock. Your politics are not legally protected…at least so long as they are the correct politics…and this is still a mostly free country where businesses can refuse service for most reasons. The only interesting twist to the story is that the plaintiff claims a religious freedom component:
“The purpose of the hat is that he wore it because he was visiting the 9/11 Memorial,” his attorney Paul Liggieri told Justice David Cohen in court Wednesday.
“He was paying spiritual tribute to the victims of 9/11. The Make American Great Again hat was part of his spiritual belief,” Liggieri claimed. Piatek and his pals had, in fact, visited the memorial before the bar.
“Rather than remove his hat, instead he held true to his spiritual belief and was forced from the bar,” Liggieri said.
When the judge asked how the bar employees were supposed to be aware of Piatek’s unusual religious beliefs, Liggieri answered, “They were aware he was wearing the hat.”
The judge pressed Liggieri on the idea of his client’s professed creed.
“How many members are in this spiritual program that your client is engaged in?” the judge asked.
“Your honor, we don’t allege the amount of individuals,” Liggieri said.
“So, it’s a creed of one?” the judge asked.
“Yes, your honor,” Liggieri replied.
You can nearly hear the lawyer laughing.
Which gets me to the sole purpose of this story. The entire plot here sounds remarkably like a famous Ron White routine: