Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Macy's stands up for the lgbtq community

Recently, as far as I can tell, Macy's department store allegedly fired an employee for not allowing a transgender woman to use the changing facilities.

The reason why I say "as far as I can tell," is because all of the spin I am reading about it is coming from the right-wing Liberty Counsel:

A young woman was fired from a Macy’s department store in San Antonio, TX for refusing to violate her religious beliefs by permitting a young man dressed as a woman from entering the women’s dressing room. Natalie Johnson claims she saw the young man walk out of the women’s fitting room and politely told him that he could not go back in because it was for women only. The cross-dressing young man claimed that he is a “female.” Johnson said that he was wearing make-up and girl’s clothing, but clearly he was a male. The cross-dresser was accompanied by five other individuals. The group argued with expletives that Macy’s is LGBT-friendly, to which Johnson replied that Macy’s is also non-discriminatory toward religion, and that it would go against her religious beliefs to lie that he was a woman or compromise with homosexuality. The group then demanded to speak with a manager.

When Johnson was confronted by her employer, she explained that she could not allow a male to change in a female’s fitting room. Johnson’s boss referred her to Macy’s LGBT policy which allows “transgender” people to change in any dressing room they want. However, Johnson pointed out that the same policy also protects against religious discrimination and, in this case, it protects her right to her beliefs that were being violated. The manager demanded that she comply with the LGBT policies or lose her job. Johnson refused to go against her sincerely held religious beliefs and was terminated from her job.

Macy’s policy which allows men to use the women’s dressing room is fraught with problems. This policy will cause significant problems and will alienate the majority of Macy’s customers. Macy’s has essentially opened women’s dressing rooms to every man. The LGBT agenda has become the theater of the absurd.

The Liberty Counsel's version of this story is presently making the rounds in the right-wing publications and news sites.

Generally, I am extremely reticent when hearing a story coming solely from the Liberty Counsel (or One News Now, or any other religious right source).

However, in this case, I will make an exception and, for now, not question the version I hear.

It sounds like Macy's did right by our community and we need to support  the store for standing up for us.

A company has a right - within reason - to establish certain policies which it feels would better suit the needs of its prospective clients. If employees object to those policies, then maybe it would be better for the employee to work somewhere else.

It seems to me that the only problem in this case was the stubborness of the former employee. Macy's didn't hire Johnson for her religious beliefs. The company hired her because it felt she could do the job.

She couldn't do the job, or rather wouldn't, and therefore was terminated.

End of story.

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Unknown said...

I fail to see how her religious beliefs were violated.

Her religious beliefs do not extend to other people and their access to dressing rooms.

She's certainly within her rights to be bothered, but she has ZERO right to regulate other people's behavior based on assumptions she makes about them especially when it violates store policy.

A sunday school driver is not allowed to disobey traffic laws because his religion says "red" is a color to be ignored.
You do NOT get religious exemptions for secular activities. Trying on clothes at Macy's ain't a religious activity. She was trying to insert her religious restrictions into her workplace and onto a customer.

Her rights weren't violated, just her notion of superiority.

Anonymous said...

And of course they'll try to make a martyr of the girl.

This rise of deserving accomodation because of religious beliefs is to me incredible. When did the Christians become so pushy?

ebohlman said...

Jason nailed it. The right to "practice one's religion" does not imply the power to assume authority over other people when that authority isn't explicitly granted for secular reasons. There is no such thing as a "right" to forbid other people from using a place that is not your personal property. The practice of religion does not extend to controlling a second party's access to a third party's property, period.

Anonymous said...

Macy's had a big contingent marching in Boston's latest Pride parade plus was a sponsor. Macy's trying to do the right thing? I think so.

ironflange said...

"Compromise with homosexuality."

This shows the complete ignorance of these idiots. As the father of a transgender, I know that gender and sexuality are two completely different things. Good on Macy's for their policy.

Anonymous said...

Didn't you know? Natalie Johnson had set up a church in that particular dressing room. That's the ONLY way her religious beliefs could've been violated in this instance.

Anonymous said...

Time to go buy something for xmas at Macy's.