What’s the difference between that bar that was allowed to kick out someone wearing a Trump hat and a baker not baking a cake for a gay couple?
Well, for one thing, the bar isn’t just selling items like a baker is. A bar is a place where you stay and drink and possibly cause arguments and fights. It’s more like a club, where they can have a doorman who decides who gets in (as long as it doesn’t violate protected classes like race and sex).
This guy went there looking for a fight, according to witnesses. It was just after the election and out of the thousands of places to go in Manhattan, he went to a gay bar where he knew he would be unwelcome and sure enough, caused a scene. In other words, it’s less about the hat and more about whether a bar can kick out someone who will clearly be disruptive.
A store or a bakery is completely different. There’s no reason to stop someone wearing a Trump hat from going into a Target. However, if you go into a cake store and start arguing with the people there and causing a scene, they can ask you to leave, too.
Further, the baker who refused to bake a cake for the gay couple was not discriminating against the gay couple for anything political the couple had said. The couple was not causing a scene. The couple simply wanted the same product that the baker would sell to a straight couple. That’s the very definition of prohibited discrimination, and is the same thing as saying to a black person that you won’t serve them at the lunch counter.
Discriminating on the basis of political speech is not the same as discriminating on the basis of prohibited categories such as race or sex or sexual orientation. You chose to have that speech and to do it publicly.
And “symbolic speech” is treated the same as actual speech. Think of it this way:
If someone walks into a gay bar and loudly say “I am against everything gay people stand for and want to take away all your rights, you terrible people” would you have the right to kick that person out?
If they’re wearing a t-shirt that says it, how about then?
What about a hat that pretty much says the same thing?
Just because you’re not speaking it out loud doesn’t mean you’re not conveying your hate. A hat like that in a bar like that is pretty much the same as going to a women’s rights meeting wearing a shirt that says “Bitch, make my sandwich.” You’re there to antagonize.
This guy was there to cause a scene, make a name for himself, file a lawsuit, and get popular on Fox News. And it worked! He’s suddenly a hero to those people who think it’s perfectly fine to be an asshole to others and face no consequences.