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June 25, 2018 - 10:28am

Today's Poll: Was it OK for the Red Hen restaurant to refuse service to Sarah Sanders?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Brian Taylor
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You own a business..You can serve / not serve whomever you please...

Rich Richmond
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I read several versions of the press statement by the owners of the Red Hen. Regardless, it was a classless act. When you refuse to serve a patron based on personal politics, be prepared for a backlash.

Jason Crater
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Is this any different than the baker that didn't want to make a cake for a gay couple's wedding?

I don't think so...and the baker's right to refuse service was upheld by the Supreme Court.

As mentioned in the above posts:
As a business owner you can refuse service to anyone...at your peril. Social Media makes the consequences of refusing service immediate and mostly harsh. If the business owner is comfortable with it, so be it.

Ed Hartgrove
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Actually, Jason, there is a difference. If you followed the baker's lawsuit, you'd see that he "won" his battle, because he is an "artist", and, he considered his "specialty" cakes to be his expression of art. Which would be covered under the 1st Amendment.

Never having been to that particular bakery, but, knowing how bakeries work, I would assume that they (the bakery) probably had several "plain" cakes on their shelves, that they probably would have sold to the couple. But, when you ask an "artist" to create something "special" for you, you're asking for the artist's interpretation. But, that's just a guess on my part.

Whereas, the restaurant that refused Ms. Sanders wasn't asked to create a "special" item. I'm, again, assuming that she was going to order something off the "menu".

Totally different circumstances.

Social Media will work it out, I would think.

Howard B. Owens
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The great thing about a big, diverse economy is people have lots of choices.

I think it's a bad business decision to refuse to do business with anybody based on beliefs but that doesn't negate the right of somebody to do it. And there is something noxious about it for democracy but, again, that doesn't negate the right of somebody to do it. It just means we're going astray as a country and need to find some way back to the middle.

If we're going to believe that corporations giving money to candidates is a form of political speech that should be protected (Citizens United) then it's natural to believe that a business owner refusing service over a political issue is also a form of protected speech.

I also agree with the baker decision -- artistic expression vs. general discrimination (he would serve gay customers, just not make a wedding cake for a gay couple), or a right not to speak based on belief.

It's also a form of protected speech to criticize the restaurant owner for what she did. Or criticize the baker for what he did.

Long Live Free Speech.

Jason Crater
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I think you're drilling down a little too deep, Ed. On the surface, it's about a business owner refusing service to a customer for a personal reason.

Randy Sliker
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I voted NO--because they force Bakers to Make cakes for Militant Gays ,, If a baker could refuse to serve gays Then A restaurant should be able to refuse any Patron they wish But should post a sign announcing they dont want Conservative patrons ,, gays or CCW Holders etc,

Christopher Putnam
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Private business. Its your choice who you server and don't.
You have all seen the sign

"Management retains the right to refuse service to anyone at anytime for any or no reason."

In case your wondering, the supreme court just upheld this. So yeah its not even a thing. The supreme court states, You have the right to refuse service if its a private business.
https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/04/politics/masterpiece-colorado-gay-marriag...

Randy Smart
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In our wonderful country we are guaranteed many rights, but with those rights come certain responsibilities. Was it OK for the Red Hen restaurant to refuse service to Sarah Sanders? OK is subject to interpretation. Was it her right? Yes. Was it OK? That's more ambiguous. Was it OK for the owner of the Red Hen to follow Sarah Sanders and her family across the street to continue harassing them after refusing to serve them? (https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/red-hen-owner-followed-sarah-san...) I would say no, because now one business owner is attempting to interfere in the operation of a competing business, all in the name of "doing what's right." Your rights end where another person's rights begin. If you don't want to serve someone in your business, fine. But you have no right to try to obstruct that person from going to a different business that would serve them.

Tim Miller
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"Militant Gays", Randy Sliker? "Militant Gays"???

First (and I risk breaking Howard and Billie's "no grammar nazis" rule), I was not aware of an official organization with the proper name of "Militant Gays."

Second, I did not read of any weaponized engaged folks marching into that bakery demanding a cake, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Tim Miller
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BTW - in case anybody might be wondering why the folks at the Red Hen might think SHS was not a nice person...
https://crooksandliars.com/cltv/2018/06/msnbc-host-runs-montage-sarah

Candace Bower
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How does this differ from refusing to serve blacks back in the day?

Candace Bower
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Tim Miller...anyone who quotes MSNBC as their source has a real problem. Do your homework and stop drinking the liberal kool ade

Howard B. Owens
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Well, um, because a person can choose who to work for and what to believe and a person doesn't choose his or her race. It's pretty much 100 percent different. It's perfectly fair to criticize somebody for what they believe or do. It's not OK to be rude to somebody because of who they are.

Tim Miller
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Candace - both situations are rude. That is the only similarity.

In one situation though, as Howard so clearly pointed out, one is being rude to a person simply because they exist (black, gay, muslim/Middle Eastern, whatever). In the other situation one is being rude to a person who has shown no respect to those who are simply different than themselves.

Rich Richmond
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Red Hen Stephanie just stepped down, or perhaps was voted out of a leadership position as Executive Director of Main Street Lexington. This organization promotes business and merchants, and as I said backlash! A classless act or not, she has every right to eject people from her property.

When I posted, I didn’t realize Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of the Red Hen escalated the incident. Sarah Sanders and her family quietly left and went to another restaurant across the street, where Red Hen Stephanie organized an outside protest, screaming and shouting on another Merchant’s property, encroaching on his or her rights, and not at all good for that restaurant's business.

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