Sarah Huckabee Sanders is fine with discrimination against gay people, but not against Trump officials
Trump’s Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who has backed discrimination against gay couples, is upset that she was discriminated against in a restaurant.
Sanders, President Trump’s White House Press Secretary, spoke out yesterday after she was asked to leave a restaurant.
The official says that the owner of the Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia had asked her to leave because staff were uncomfortable serving Trump officials.
Sanders condemned the restaurant’s actions, claiming that “[the owner’s] actions say far more about her than about me”, adding that “I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully.”
The restaurant has been barraged by one-star reviews and abuse from Trump supporters after Sanders confirmed the incident publicly.
But although she doesn’t like being discriminated against for working for Trump, Sanders has been outspoken in her defences of the administration’s legal interventions in favour of discrimination against gay people.
In December Sanders was asked whether the President believed it should be “possible for a baker to put a sign in his window saying we don’t bake cakes for gay weddings.”
She said: “The president certainly supports religious liberty and that’s something he talked about during the campaign and has upheld since taking office.”
Pressed further, she confirmed: “I believe that would include that.”
Sanders also celebrated the Supreme Court ruling in favour of anti-gay baker Jack Phillips last month, after the White House intervened in his favour.
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She said: “When it comes to the bakers, we were pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision.
“The First Amendment prohibits government discriminating against the basis of religious beliefs, and the Supreme Court rightly concluded that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission failed to show tolerance and respect for his religious beliefs.”
Anti-discrimination laws generally prohibit discrimination against people based on a range of protected characteristics, commonly race, colour, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity..
They do not prohibit direct discrimination against individuals because of things they have said and done.
The owner of the restaurant, Stephanie Wilkinson, told the Washington Post that she took the decision to eject Sanders because “several Red Hen employees are gay” and were uneasy about serving Sanders, who in addition to backing ‘freedom to discriminate’ has publicly defended a ban on transgender soldiers in the military.
Recalling the discussion with her staff, Wilkinson said: “[I said], ‘Tell me what you want me to do. I can ask her to leave.’ They said ‘yes’.”