Clerk Claims Religious Bias in Incident With Trans Woman

BY Trudy Ring

December 06 2011 10:16 PM ET

A Macy’s store in San Antonio has fired an employee who refused to let a transgender woman use a women’s fitting room — and now a conservative legal group says the worker’s religious freedom was violated.

A few days after Thanksgiving, the worker, Natalie Johnson, denied the transgender customer access to the dressing room at the Macy’s in the Rivercenter Mall, and an argument ensued, involving other customers as well as Johnson’s manager, the Houston Chronicle reports. The manager told her that transgender shoppers could use the room of their choice.

According to Liberty Counsel, a legal organization associated with the religious right, Johnson was subsequently fired. (Macy’s declined comment, citing privacy policy surrounding personnel matters, the Chronicle reports.)

Liberty Counsel officials say Johnson was refusing to go against her religious beliefs by allowing the customer, whom they describe as a “cross-dressing young man,” to use the women’s fitting room. On its website, the group is encouraging people to contact Macy’s and let the company know they oppose the transgender policy. “Macy’s has essentially opened women’s dressing rooms to every man,” Liberty Counsel chairman Mathew Staver says in a statement on the site. “The LGBT agenda has become the theater of the absurd.”

The Chronicle points out, however, that “Liberty Counsel’s position on transgender rights diverges from most Americans’ and even most Christians’ opinions.” It goes on to cite polls indicating that most Americans, including Catholics and evangelical Protestants, support equal rights for transgender people.







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