Friday, December 9, 2011

Woman files lawsuit because she can't harass transgender customers

Found at by Alin McEwen

Unbelievable. Earlier this week, I post a piece about a Macy's employee who was fired for harassing a transgender customer. Today, we learn more details about this case because she is now suing:

Natalie Johnson is a 27-year-old student and, until last week, worked at the River Center Macy's.

On Nov. 30, a teenager shopping caught her attention.

"I made sure to keep an eye on him because he was shopping for women's clothing," remembered Johnson.

She said she was convinced the shopper was a man. So when she saw him in the women's dressing room, she told him he couldn't change there.

"I had to just straight forward tell him, 'You're a man,' and of course that made him really got him steamed," said Johnson.

But the group of people he was with supported the shopper, arguing Macy's policy allows transgender people to change in the fitting room of the gender they associate with.

"I've made my choice the other day," Johnson told her manager. "I refuse to comply with this policy."

Johnson said she was let go.

Johnson filed a complaint with the Federal Employment Commission, claiming her religious beliefs prevent her from recognizing transgender people.

"There are no transgenders in the world. A guy can dress up as a woman all he wants, that's still not going to make you a woman," said Johnson.

There are so many things to be said about this. First of all, I refuse to believe that this woman filed this lawsuit on her own volition. Someone, or rather some organization talked her into it. This woman has no case because she admits that she refused to comply. The religious belief argument is a dodge. No one was attacking her religious beliefs. She was the aggressor. She was the violator. If she had a problem, she should have stepped aside. No one was forcing her to be in the dressing room (aren't dressing rooms usually confined to one person anyway) with the customer?

I mean what's next? Should harassing same-sex couples or same-sex couples and their children in stores be protected under the false umbrella of "religious liberty?"

This woman felt that she was above following the policies of her employer and found out that no, she was not.

No doubt the organization - and I bet it's the Liberty Counsel - that pushed Johnson into filing this lawsuit hopes to exploit people's fears about the transgender community and the lie about "men being able to invade women's bathrooms," etc.

But I think this going to backfire. This frivolous lawsuit demonstrates just how hollow the claim of "religious liberty" by the religious right are. It's obvious that "religious liberty" to some of them means the liberty to give us hell.

Those who are steaming over this - and you should be - should forget making this woman the onus of your anger. She is nothing more than a tool. 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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