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One Million Moms Gets Mad At Macy’s LGBT Policy

One Million Moms Gets Mad At Macy’s LGBT Policy

Since 2007, Macy’s has received a top rating of 100 percent in the Human Rights Campaign’s evaluation of the treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people by corporations. The department store chain recently stood by its policy when the River Center Macy’s in San Antonio fired an employee, Natalie Johnson, after she told a transgender customer that she could not change in the women’s dressing room. Johnson says that her Christian religious beliefs prevent her from recognizing transgender people.

The American Family Association’s One Million Moms has stepped in to champion Johnson and sought to turn the case into a matter of religious freedom — and expressed its disdain towards transgender people — by saying that “Macy’s has fired a Christian woman for refusing to violate her beliefs” and that “the LGBT agenda has become the theater of the absurd.”

However, Macy’s policy about transgender people using changing rooms is straightforward. Macy’s senior vice president of corporate communications and external affairs Jim Sluzewski issued this statement:

“Macy’s is very proud of our philosophy of diversity and inclusion, and we welcome all customers into our stores. This includes customers of all races, ethnicities, ages, genders, faith traditions, countries of origins and lifestyle preferences. We strive to ensure that each customer is able to shop in a discrimination-free environment.”

Johnson says that, on November 30, she saw a teenager shopping:

“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.

The teenager was with a group of five others who reportedly reminded Johnson of Macy’s policy allowing transgender people to change in the dressing room of the gender that they identify with. But Johnson said that she “refused[d] to comply with this policy.” The next day, her manager spoke to her and reminded her of Macy’s policy, whereupon Johnson said that her religious convictions were against the policy. Johnson was fired.

A student at San Antonio College and a member of Tabernacle of Prayer, a nondenominational church, Johnson went to Liberty Counsel, which is described as a “conservative Christian law firm that advocates for religious freedoms.” Johnson says that “her Christian faith and concerns for safety and privacy in a changing room were ignored.” She has since filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and says that she not only wants her job back, but that she wants Macy’s to change or eliminate its policy about transgender people.

Johnson can be said to have endangered the “safety and privacy” of the teenager in not respecting her choice of using the women’s changing room. Based on comments made to ABC News — “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” – Johnson has very definite notions about transgender people and does not seem, at this point, herself open to reforming these. Her religious beliefs are of course her personal choice, as are her objections to Macy’s LGBT policy. Macy’s has set its policies for reasons of its own: Perhaps working in a different environment, with different policies than Macy’s “philosophy of diversity and inclusion,” might better accommodate Johnson and her religious beliefs.

Related Care2 Coverage

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Photo by Tim Pearce, Los Gatos

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368 comments

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6:28AM PST on Dec 6, 2012

Johnson is pretty dumb in regards to company policies. It's like going to a person's home, when you're there you must obey the rules and not start imposing your personal beliefs on those that haven't asked for your opinion.

11:43AM PDT on Aug 9, 2012

Does Macy's have a transgender dressing room policy? If it doesn't, this woman has a case.

1:11PM PDT on Mar 27, 2012

When a person takes a job, they are supposed to uphold company policies. They don't get to choose which policies they uphold and which they ignore. She doesn't deserve her job back and it's stupid to expect everyone else to bend to her bigotry. She obviously can't function in normal society and she should consider carefully her next job choice. Perhaps her local KKK is hiring for a secretary of something. She isn't suited to working with the public as she can't accept anyone different than herself, although I suspect she wants to be accepted for who she is and not discriminated against, even though she is a very low life form. What next? She can't allow mixed races in the dressing room at the same time? This is just as rediculous!

5:23PM PDT on Mar 25, 2012

All we can do for these women is pray for them.

3:54AM PDT on Mar 22, 2012

I've only just found this. Extraordinary. Good for Macy's.

8:12PM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

Whats the matter Barf? Do you have a difficult time accepting responsibility for you actions? You did a nice little dance around the issue but you failed to tell me how you are any different. As long as you think you are so much smarter, more informed and credible and make fun of others why wont you tell me how you are any different.

1:32PM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

Fine Dent.. I think my comment is good. So if you need help with cause. Find it with your christian buddies then. Have a good day and may your god bless you.. Jesus Christ : Serial killer At Large.. Go over to Face Book and cry there. Now go ban me here Jesus lovers.

8:14PM PDT on Mar 20, 2012

Barf, you are doing the same thing as the Million Dumbass Moms, promoting your personal hate and forcing your beliefs on others. You even make fun of them because you think you have all the answers and are the only one who can make an informed decision out of billions of people. Your hypocrisy is something else. What makes your thought process any more valid than theirs? The majority of people who worship Gods are not in peoples face spewing BS about how God says to hate. Groups like One Million Moms pretend to speak for the Christians of the world and they don't. They tag themselves Christians because they think it gives them some credibility, and is does not. They are nothing but hypocritical pontificating lowlife who are trying to force their ideals on to others using the guise of a legitimate organization.

I know people of many different faiths and they are damn good people who do not bother anyone with their beliefs and get along with all kinds of people regardless of their religion. You act like your beliefs are more valid than these people’s and that is just not so. I do not see you any different than the hate groups that are trying to force others to see it their way. The USA is about diversity, not morons who think they have all the answers. I have been around these people for decades and we have tolerance and acceptance for

11:28AM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

Christianity is just another hate group. The catholics have been behind the hate of Jewish people for so many years. Now the Conservative Right has their cross hairs on women's health issues. Do any of these people have something better to do than promote hate at every turn? I say ban the Christian religion. Then educate these people. They need to grow up and stop listening to the make believe world that sad people created back the fourth century. The first step to ending hate is education. The next would be to deny any religious rights to anyone. Jesus was just another insurgent promoting a suicide cult. What if Jesus had access to car bombs?

12:12PM PDT on Mar 15, 2012

Religion creates division!! Always has, always will...God has no religion!.
Good Christian, conservative traditional values??- just plain,nasty prejudice, more like it!...lets just cut the crap and learn to live & let live!!
Let there be unity in diversity...

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
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