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Could a DC Restaurant Legally Refuse Service to Sarah Sanders or Another Trump Official? - Source Washingtonian

Posted on Jun 27,2018
Filed Under Restaurants , Local Tastes,

Passerby examine the menu at the Red Hen Restaurant Saturday, June 23, 2018, in Lexington, Virginia. (AP Photo/Daniel Lin)

Source Washingtonian


LEXINGTON, VA. - Everyone has an opinion on whether the Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, should have kicked out Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. But were its actions actually legal?

In most of the country, including Virginia, the short answer is yes. But what if this had happened in DC (which, to reiterate, it didn’t)? Probably not—but it’s not so clear-cut.

The difference is that DC is one of the few jurisdictions that prohibits discrimination based on political affiliation, just as it does with other protected classes such as gender, race, and religion. Refusing service on those grounds would be a violation of the DC Human Rights Act.

A Republicans-only or Democrats-only restaurant would clearly be illegal in DC. But Jonathan Smith, the executive director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, says a restaurant that refuses service to someone specifically because they work in the Trump administration would likely also be in violation of the law. “Our human rights law is designed to be interpreted broadly to provide very broad protection,”  he says.

Source Washingtonian

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