Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It’s not religious discrimination when you refuse to do your job

ByJohn Aravosis (DC)
From Americablog Gay
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The day that a woman working the fitting room at Macy's thinks she can make store policy, in violation of store policy, because of her "religion," she should be fired. This is a rather amazing story, and an amazing assertion. That the rest of us have to do what our bosses say, that the rest of us have to let our bosses set policy for our companies, but if you're a Christian (well, a bigoted religious right Christian), you get to trump all that, and YOU get to decide.

That's not religious freedom. It's special rights for southern baptists.

Media matters covers the issue of a woman working at Macy's who tried to stop a transgender teenage girl, who appeared to be "a man... wearing lipstick" from entering the ladies' changing room. The woman freaked, thinking some perverted guy was stalking the women's changing rooms. But that's not why she got fired. She got fired because after a manager told her the next day that in fact Macy's policy is to let a customer go into whatever fitting room the customer feels matches their gender identity, she refused. The woman insisted that her religious views trumped Macy's changing room policy.
A manager called Johnson in the next day to explain that Macy's policy permits individuals to go into the changing room of whatever gender they identify with.

"I refuse to comply with this policy," Johnson says she replied. She was then fired.

"I had to either comply with Macy's or comply with God," Johnson told The San Antonio Express-News.
Oh spare me. What's next? Do we not let Muslims into changing rooms? How about Jews (I hear they killed Christ, you know)? How about socialists? Or Republicans?

This isn't a story about her being fired because she got confused when meeting her first transgender customer. It's about refusing to obey store policy once the situation was explained to her. You just don't get to overrule your bosses on a public accommodations issue because you don't like someone, or your religion doesn't like someone. Under this theory, she could also turn away lesbians from the women's changing room, because after all her religion doesn't approve of "LGBT people" as she says during the interview. Does the religious right think that's okay too?

This isn't about religion. It's about special rights for one particular fringe American religion that thinks every other American, and every other employer, needs to live by its rules.

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