President Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was recently told to leave Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia along with her husband and other family members.
Owner, Stephanie Wilkson later explained that her actions were in response to a number of gay employees being unhappy about Sanders’ support for a ban on transgender people serving in the US military.
While the exchange between the restaurant’s owner and Huckabee Sanders was allegedly cordial, according to Wilkinson, it has caused fierce debate on social media .Conservatives have likened the Huckabee Sanders incident to LGBTQ+ people being \ denied service, while progressives have been adamant that restaurants should be able to refuse services based on political affiliation.
Ironically, this comes only days after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favour of Colorado baker, Jack Phillips who was sued in 2012 for refusing to make a cake for a gay couple.
Secular Talk’s Kyle Kullinski lashed out at responses from both conservatives and progressives on his channel. He’s torn, but is leaning he reluctantly concluded that Sanders should have been served in case it backfires on progressives later on.
He denies that this is the equivalent of denying someone service because of race or sexual orientation, arguing (rightly) that the latter are not things that can be chosen or changed.
Yet, this case is strengthening the arguments against rights of LGBTQ+ people. Conservatives, like Newscorp columnist and Macquarie Radio guest presenter, Andrew Bolt have already made the comparison and treating it as ‘left’ hypocrisy.
I am against LGBTQ+ people being denied service because I see it as a slippery slope. As I’ve demonstrated in the past, in certain US states, it’s legal for mental health workers to deny to treat LGBTQ+ patients, unless their lives are in immediate danger. In 2015, a Michigan pediatrician refused to see a toddler who was being raised by a lesbian couple.
It’s happening in the US, and I fear that there’s a chance that Australia’s anti – discrimination laws will also be watered down in the not – so – distant future.
So, what should happen? If you’re a business owner or work for one, serve your customers. Simple. Of course, if someone is abusive or destroying stock, etc, then kick them out, by all means. But anything else will only backfire.
I read yesterday that Red Hen owner, Stephanie Wilkinson resigned from her position after about seventy – five conservative protesters against the treatment of Huckabee Sanders. One allegedly threw chicken excrement aiming it at the restaurant (it landed on the pavement).
They have the right to protest. Throwing excrement is uncalled for, though. It’s also a pity that Wilkinson felt like she had to leave her job.
What do you think about the Sarah Huckabee Sanders/ Red Hen saga? Do you think businesses should have to serve customers no matter what (except for abuse, destruction of property/ stock, etc)? Let me know in the comments below.