- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Virginia restaurant that refused to serve White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was hit by picketers Tuesday and police had to block off the bucolic downtown Lexington street and make one arrest.

The Red Hen restaurant was closed as normal Sunday and Monday, but several groups demonstrated against it around 5 p.m. Tuesday, its first scheduled opening since it became a national cause. But the restaurant did not open Tuesday evening.

According to video posted to Twitter by a Roanoke Times reporter, a few dozen people around the Red Hen looked on as one man yelled into a megaphone that “nations like America that forget God, they’re gonna end up in hell.”

One protester held up a sign that read “Unless they repent, Let God Burn Them,” with the “LGBT” initial letters highlighted.

One of the reasons owner Stephanie Wilkinson refused to serve Mrs. Sanders, she said Saturday, is that she has gay employees who oppose the Trump administration’s policies on transgenderism.

Another protester, not obviously part of the same small group, was carrying a U.S. flag. Two others were photographed carrying “Trump: Make America Great Again” flags.

The front step of the restaurant had cards promoting Republican Senate nominee Corey Stewart. Also left on the stoop were biblical admonitions against homosexuality and at least one hand-written index card of support.

Lexington Police Chief Sam Roman told the Roanoke Times that one man drove by and threw a bucket of chicken manure out the window while shouting “make America great again.” Police arrested him and charged him with disorderly conduct.

“People have the right to exercise free speech, and we’re just here to make sure it doesn’t go beyond that,” Chief Roman told the Times.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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