With the recent case of the former Macy’s employee, Natalie Johnson, who was fired because she harassed a transgender customer, the right wing group, the Liberty Counsel, is acting as if it won the lottery.
The organization has been on a massive press tour pushing its version of the story.
The young lady was fired because she violated the store policy which allows the transgender community to use whichever changing room they see fit. She took it upon herself to accost a transgender teen who was coming from one of the changing rooms. The teen and her friends complained and when informed of the policy, the young lady said she would not follow it.
That is why she was fired. She is presently suing – via the Liberty Counsel – claiming that her religious beliefs were violated.
Now while neither she nor the organization can seem to decided whether or not to use the phony angle of religious persecution or the even more fallacious image of how Macy’s policy would lead to women being violated (this sort of thing has never happened, neither in Macy’s nor in places where transgender inclusive policies exist), the one angle both seem to agree on is smearing the transgender community.
First was an overly friendly interview on Fox News where the anchor, Shannon Bream, let Johnson and Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver go unchallenged about the situation even to the point of saying awful things about the transgender community.
From Equality Matters:
During the segment, Fox’s Bream listened quietly as her guests repeated a number of anti-trans smears, including referring to the transgender teen as “a man… wearing lipstick” and promoting the right-wing myth that transgender protections put women and girls “in jeopardy”
. . . Instead of accurately portraying the problem of discrimination based on gender identity, Bream allowed her guests to openly chuckle as they trivialized the experience of the transgender teen and attacked Macy’s non-discrimination policy.
Staver also made an appearance on the radio show of right-wing host Janet Parshall. Parshall, who once referred to same-sex families as “pretend families,” of course let Staver go on a lying tangent as to supposedly how dangerous Macy’s policy is:
As you mentioned before the break, this really puts every woman at risk. A father doesn’t want to take his twelve, thirteen year-old daughter there to go to Macy’s and let her go into a woman’s fitting room, not knowing whether there may be some pedophile, pervert, or some other kind of person who’s waiting to do a sexual assault on this young woman, or your wife. Any woman does not want to go into a men’s restroom, a men’s fitting room, or a woman’s fitting room, thinking that they may be watched by a peeping tom or even worse, sexually assaulted or raped, and in fact this is a liability waiting to happen and Macy’s needs to fix this problem.
Lastly comes an item from the Liberty Counsel’s blog which may signal that perhaps Staver and company reached too much in pushing this phony panic:
Another Macy’s employee has contacted Liberty Counsel and shared about repeated issues with men using the women’s fitting rooms. This individual asked to remain anonymous out of fear of losing her job. The employee said she constantly has to ask men to leave the women’s fitting rooms. In addition, she has been asked numerous times by mothers who have daughters in the fitting rooms to please ask the men to leave the women’s dressing rooms.
Here is where it gets tricky. Two questions need to be asked.
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.
I smell a rat.
More specifically, I smell an ambulance chasing organization eager to ride a phony controversy all the way to the bank.
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.