Earlier this year, a tourist accused a New York City bar of cutting him off and kicking him out just because he was wearing a MAGA hat. Now, after first suing the place for "discriminatory conduct," plaintiff Greg Piatek, 30, is arguing that his hardcore devotion to his MAGA hat should be protected as a religious belief.
In a set of legal documents filed last week, Piatek's attorney argued that his client belongs to a "protected class," and that he was "adhering to his closely held spiritual beliefs by adorning the hat in question," Gothamist reports.
"A religious belief can appear to every other member of the human race preposterous," Piatek's legal brief states, "yet still be entitled to protection." According to Gothamist, Piatek's lawyer argues that his religious beliefs "transcend the political realm" and are somehow related to the grief he feels toward the victims of the September 11 attacks.
Piatek claims that bartenders at Manhattan's Happiest Hour snubbed him because of his hat choice back in January and caused him "anxiety and severe emotional distress." When he tried to order a round for a few of his friends, Piatek claims a bartender ignored him and asked if his hat was a "joke" before reluctantly serving him. A third bartender allegedly called Piatek a "terrible person" and cut him off, before a manager told the MAGA hat devotee he had to leave, Gothamist reports.
But the lawyer representing the bar claims the whole thing never happened, pointing to Piatek's receipt from the day in question. The guy apparently left a $36 tip on a $182 bill, which is pretty good for a staff who allegedly judged you for your political beliefs.
"The plaintiff's vague and conclusory arguments are entirely fanciful," Preston Ricardo told Gothamist. "They have no support in the law. And they continue to show that the action is nothing more than an ill-conceived publicity stunt guised as a lawsuit."
While the motivations behind Piatek's lawsuit aren't completely clear, it wouldn't be the first time a Trump supporter tried to blame bad behavior on someone else. Nor would it be the first time someone started a religion based on a piece of interesting headware.
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