Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel doubles down on implausible story against Macy's

As Mat Staver and the Liberty Counsel continue milk the case of the former Macy's employee who was fired for harassing a transgender customer, one has to wonder are they reading their own press.

Yesterday, I pointed out how Staver and the employee, Natalie Johnson, conducted several interviews in which they tried to whitewash the fact that Johnson's actions violated Macy's policy and that concerns about "religious liberty" and "men in women's changing rooms" were a pitiful dodges.

I even hinted that the Liberty Counsel was "conjuring up" a story of an "anonymous" Macy's employee troubled by the policy.

But in an interview with the phony news service One News Now today, Staver seems to be sticking to that story and making up new ones:

Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, now tells OneNewsNow that an employee of another store has told him she has persistent problems keeping men out of the women's fitting room.

However, that's not exactly what the Liberty Counsel said yesterday on its blog:

The employee said she constantly has to ask men to leave the women’s fitting rooms.

It may seem like an insignificant jump from "asking men to leave women's fitting rooms" to "having persistent problems keeping men out of women's fitting rooms," but this jump only elucidates the questions I asked yesterday.

Those questions were:

Were these transgender women, rather than men accompanying their loved ones? These are two totally different situations.

And if these were transgender women, what are the odds of this employee having the ability to violate company policy without losing her job? If this woman had been truly asking transgender women to leave the fitting rooms, we would be hearing about this before now.

If this anonymous employee has had  "persistent problems" with transgender customers, then that would mean there was in fact conflict between her and those customers. And if this is the case, I refuse to believe that several transgender women in different cases would allow themselves to be disrespected and not complain, especially when the store policy is in their favor.

How is this woman continuing to keep her job in light of this possibility? Or does this woman even exist?

Then Staver tries to make it seem that there is a groundswell of negative reactions to Macy's policy:

According to Liberty Counsel, the public is reacting.

"Consistently the people of America are saying that they will not shop at Macy's," explains Staver. "They're tearing up their Macy's credit cards, they're sending back their Macy's gift cards, they say that they will not shop at Macy's -- and this is a consistent response that we're seeing from the public around the country."

The Liberty Counsel founder says customers are "literally outraged and shocked" at Macy's policy.

Staver conveniently doesn't provide proof of this claim, just like neither he nor the Liberty Counsel has provided proof of the existence of the anonymous Macy's employee.

To reiterate, I smell a rat.

Email Macy's and send the company your support for standing up for our rights and dignity. And most of all, tell Macy's to not back down. 

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Xaratherus said...

Too bad that anyone with the Interwebs and a brain can check to see that Macy's stock has actually been on the rise since September.

And it's been relatively stable, with no major downward trends, since the announcement.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I smell a rat too.

First it's the anonymity of the 'employee' who says she's constantly tossing men out of the women's changing rooms.

First of all why the need for changing rooms that separate by sex? Kind of ridiculous waste of resources if you ask me.

Make em' unisex and be done with it.

Mary in Austin said...

The Liberty Counsel [sic] is bending over backwards to create outrage. Macy's, thankfully, does not have those awful "gang" dressing rooms, where everybody must disrobe and try on clothes in front of everybody else. They are a higher-quality department store so their ladies' dressing rooms are like little closets with curtains instead of doors. Surely a trans-woman could try on clothes under such circumstances with no one being the wiser. It really seems to me that no Macy's employee of reasonably good mental health should take it upon herself to verify the sex of any customer in a private dressing room like these.

b-chica said...

What is it with idiots lately? So many levels of stuff wrong with these bigoted ideas.

You are more likely to be sexually assaulted in the dark and not-closely-monitored parking garage than in the brightly lit fitting room in the store full of people and security cameras, no matter who is allowed into the fitting room area (the area outside the fitting rooms is often heavily covered by the cameras for loss prevention purposes). Tons of video and possible witnesses in the fitting room area of a big department store.

A transsexual/transvestite/manly-looking woman using a fitting room does not increase the chances of a woman being sexually assaulted. From what I have read, most male-to-female transsexuals are attracted to men. The idea that a man who is attracted to woman will pose as a woman to gain access to women in a fitting room sounds like the plot to a horrible movie to me.

Most importantly, LGBT people are no more likely to be sexual predators than straight people. (Heck, I bet they are even less likely because they have to be more careful because of the stigma and laws could cause them to face the harshest punishment the law allows.)

It is not like they have the old style, one big room style fitting rooms either, so nobody is gaining easy access to anyone else. I think they even have doors with locks instead of curtains (not a frequent Macy's shopper since I am too poor to buy their stuff, but I may at least look for something for myself there while Christmas shopping in support of their decision). If I am behind a locked door I don't care about the physical gender or sexual desires of the person in the locked box next to me, though whoever they are they would likely have their face smashed with my (usually very heavy) purse if they are rude and peek over into my stall.

I could go on and on about this issue because religious jerks claiming their religious beliefs should trump all else really piss me off. What if I claimed my religious beliefs allowed me to smack the crap out of bigots?

What I have issue with is the moms who bring their kids into the fitting rooms or bathrooms with the stalls you can peek under who don't stop their kids from peeking.