Updated: April 30 at 4:15 p.m. E.T. with a statement from the owner of The Happiest Hour.
A Pennsylvania man who sued a New York City bar that booted him out for being a supporter of President Donald Trump lost his case in a Manhattan courtroom Wednesday, the New York Post reported.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice David Cohen ruled it’s “not outrageous” to toss out Trump supporters from bars because there are no laws to protect against political discrimination.
Greg Piatek, a 31-year-old accountant, stopped by The Happiest Hour in West Village after he paid his respects at the 9/11 Memorial in January 2017, and shortly after Trump was sworn into office.
Piatek, who wore a “Make America Great Again” hat into the bar, said he and his buddies received rude service from the bartender.
“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 claimed he was told after he complained about the service.
So, Piatek filed a lawsuit for an unspecified amount for emotional damages against. He claimed the bar “offended his sense of being American.”
The Happiest Hour’s lawyer Elizabeth Conway told the judge that state and city laws protect against religious discrimination, not political beliefs, and “supporting Trump is not a religion.”
The plaintiff’s lawyer told the judge that Piatek’s hat is part of his spiritual belief.
“The purpose of the hat is that he wore it because he was visiting the 9/11 Memorial,” attorney Paul Liggieri said in court. “He was paying spiritual tribute to the victims of 9/11. The ‘Make American Great Again’ hat was part of his spiritual belief.”
What did the bar employees want?
The bar’s employees wanted Piatek to take off the hat.
“Rather than remove his hat, instead he held true to his spiritual belief and was forced from the bar,” Liggieri said.
Cohen asked how the employees would know of Piatek’s “unusual religious beliefs?”
“They were aware he was wearing the hat,” Liggieri answered.
“How many members are in this spiritual program that your client is engaged in?” Cohen asked.
“Your honor, we don’t allege the amount of individuals,” Liggieri said.
“So, it’s a creed of one?” Cohen asked Liggieri.
“Yes, your honor,” Liggieri replied.
After a short break, Cohen returned with his ruling.
“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.”
It’s unclear whether Piatek will file an appeal.
What did the bar’s owner say?
“At the Happiest Hour we firmly support womens’ rights, marriage equality, gun control, the environment, and regard for the truth — we don’t discriminate. What’s gotten lost in this story is that the guest wasn’t kicked out because he was wearing a Trump hat- he was asked to leave after being verbally abusive to our staff, which is something we don’t tolerate regardless of who you are. And this is after he spent almost $200 — the 20% tip he left would seem to indicate he was satisfied with the service he received,” The Happiest Hour’s owner Jon Neidich told TheBlaze in a statement.