Serving Sarah Sanders

A Virginia restaurant’s decision over the weekend to refuse to serve Sarah Huckabee Sanders has many conservatives rightly riled up. To turn away a paying customer because she is Donald Trump’s press secretary flouts not only rules of civility, but an essential premise of an open society: that public spaces and public businesses should be open to all. But being uncivil or rude is not illegal. And those objecting to the Red Hen’s treatment of Sanders, many of them conservatives who identify with her and feel her pain, should consider the implications of their reactions for the much more common, harmful, and illegal phenomenon of businesses refusing to serve gay and lesbian couples seeking cakes and other services to celebrate their weddings.

Public-accommodation laws are designed to ensure that everyone has equal status in the public sphere. A democratic society is premised on the equal dignity of all its citizens, and public spaces are public precisely by virtue of their not being exclusive. In private arenas, we can and do make choices about whom we invite and serve. But once one chooses to operate a business open to the public, one takes on at least a moral — and often a legal — obligation to adhere to the norms that underlie the very definition of “public.” When a business turns away a customer, whether it’s the Red Hen refusing service to Sanders, or Masterpiece Cakeshop refusing service to Charlie Craig and David Mullins, it says, “You aren’t a legitimate member of the public.”

Read the full article at The Nation

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Anonymous

The difference might be that Sarah sanders didn’t order a dish that directly contradicted anyone’s religious beliefs. Perhaps a more appropriate comparison would be if she were to enter a halal restaurant and demand roasted pigs feet. Asking her to leave would probably not be challenged by the ACLU.

Anonymous

Being LGBT is not a choice, (Or an Order). Thanks.

Dr. Timothy Leary

I would not serve her either unless she was completely marinated and well done.

Anonymous

I don't think anyone should be barred service due to their race, job, gender, sexuality, religion etc. So I have issues with both the wedding cake incident and the red hen incident for the same reasons. In these cases I ask myself, if I as a black person was working and someone who I knew was a KKK member asked me for a service, would I serve them. And as difficult as it would be for me, unless they insulted or threatened me, or asked me to insult or threaten someone else with my services, I would likely serve them like anyone else. If they walked in with full KKK garb, I would ask them to leave, but if they had offensive language on their clothing, but did or said nothing offensive I would still serve them. I would allow their free speech as long as it did not harm myself or others I serve.

But I think one thing is forgotten when comparing the Cake case and the Red Hen case. The cake case was about a private citizen not serving someone because of their sexuality, the red hen case was about not serving a government official specifically because of the specific actions of the government and not against the person as a private citizen. Which to me seems a very important distinction. The whole point of free speech is not so much about everyone being able to say what they want about everyone, but about everyone being able to say what they want about the government. So this case is much more clearly and example of free speech (in my mind) than the cake case. That said, I still have an issue with it for the reasons stated above.

Anonymous

Unlike Mr. Craig and Mr. Mullins she did not travel past many other restaurants just to make a point. They deliberately chose that bakery knowing and hoping that they would be refused service.

cathy fox burns

exactly

MLB

So, say I own a restaurant in NYC that happens to be staffed by employees that lost a friend or relative during the 9/11 terror attacks. I receive a call from my employees who are bothered (or "triggered") because a woman with a hijab wants to dine there. So I rush down to the restaurant and ask her to leave.

Are you still going to maintain your position that "being uncivil or rude is not illegal" and leave it at that? No - I'm going to get a lawsuit by the ACLU! Hypocrisy at its finest.

cathyrose

Blatant out of control Hypocrisy for sure

Anonymous

"There is an important difference between the kind of refusal Sanders was subjected to, and the one Craig and Mullins suffered. When a business turns someone away because of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity, it is refusing to serve them because of who they are. "

There is not one bit of proof that Craig and Mullins were denied service because of their sexual orientation. Jack Phillips refuse to provide a wedding cake for their party. Not because they were gay, but because the party honored same sex marriage. It was all about WHAT the party celebrated, not about who was having the party.

Brandon

What an astonishing false equivalency. Luckily there are some of us that have the moral conviction to know that tormenting children for political purpose has no place in our society. By standing up hopefully we will prevent them from one day locking you in a cage. You're welcome

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