Judge Rules Trump Supporters Can Be Denied Service for Wearing MAGA Hat
A Manhattan judge ruled Wednesday against a Trump supporter who says he was thrown out of a bar for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, the New York Post reported.
Philadelphia resident Greg Piatek, 31, claimed in his lawsuit against the establishment that he was refused service and then removed from the New York City bar in January last year for wearing a MAGA hat.
“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 said the staff of The Happiest Hour told him.
Piatek decided to sue in the Manhattan Supreme Court, saying the incident “offended his sense of being American.”
The bar’s lawyer, Elizabeth Conway, said the law protects religious beliefs — not political views.
“Supporting Trump is not a religion,” Conway said. “Whether you believe it very sincerely, it’s not.”
“He doesn’t allege that he has some sort of belief system that he follows in his everyday life and his hat is sort of an example of that,” she continued.
Paul Liggieri, Piatek’s lawyer, argued his defendant’s hat reflected a “spiritual tribute” to 9/11 victims and should be protected by an anti-discrimination statute.
“The purpose of the hat is that he wore it because he was visiting the 9/11 Memorial,” Liggieri said. “He was paying spiritual tribute to the victims of 9/11. The Make American Great Again hat was part of his spiritual belief.”
“Rather than remove his hat, instead he held true to his spiritual belief and was forced from the bar.”
Judge David Cohen ultimately sided with the bar.
“Plaintiff does not state any faith-based principle to which the hat relates,” Cohen said.
“Here the claim that plaintiff was not served and eventually escorted out of the bar because of his perceived support for President Trump is not outrageous conduct.”
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