LGBT or Religion?

Here’s a real-life quandary: A woman is working in the fitting room of Macy’s when she sees a male customer emerge from the ladies’ dressing room. He is wearing makeup and a dress, but is obviously male. She informed him that he would not be allowed back into the dressing room, and would have to use the men’s. A bit of a dust-up ensued, with the customer’s acquaintances (he was with five friends) claiming discrimination based on Macy’s LGBT policy, which dictates that Transgendered customers be allowed to use whichever dressing room they want, based on what sex they feel they are.

The dressing room attendant responded with the fact that Macy’s also has a religious non-discrimination policy. And her religion dictates that she not lie, something she would be required to do in acknowledging that the [obviously male] customer was female. Her religion also dictates that she “not compromise with homosexuality”.

The situation was brought to management, and the employee was ultimately fired.

So here are the questions: Which policy is correct? Or are they both correct? Was the employee correct in standing on her religious dictates, both against lying and in not “compromising with” homosexuality? And how should Macy’s (and other stores, because you can be sure they’re watching) do going forward?

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42 Responses to LGBT or Religion?

  1. Ellen says:

    I am not sure, I think the employee was extremely sincere in her believes but I think she should not put her own personal belief above company’s belief.

  2. SKL says:

    Honestly, I think that it’s not fair to plain-old gendered people to allow trans-gendered people and cross-dressers, etc., to use whatever restroom / dressing room / locker room / shower they feel like using. As far as I’m concerned, a person with a male sex organ does not belong in a place where I would undress. And vice versa. It’s a privacy issue. Even if I were as liberal as the day is long, I’d have a problem with sharing those rooms with someone biologically male. How do I know they aren’t just plain old men hoping to get a free show or even possibly attack a woman in a vulnerable state?

    I really don’t think it’s a complex issue. You want to be a woman, have it surgically removed. As long as it’s there, your body is the type for which the men’s room is designed. I don’t believe the burden of having to use the men’s room because you have a penis outweighs the risk of compromising women’s privacy and safety. Same goes with dressing rooms, etc. I also don’t buy the line that some people just can’t feel OK in clothes designed for their gender. Especially nowadays when so many styles are practically unisex. It’s one thing to enjoy cross-dressing; another to insist that you “must” cross-dress in order to have any quality of life.

    As for the religious argument, that sounds like a stretch. I think there are a lot of jobs in this society that you just shouldn’t take if you are very religious / religiously intolerant. I think that if homosexuality is that big of an issue for you, you need to read the employee manual / company policy and make sure it’s something you can work with, or go work someplace where you won’t run across this kind of issue.

  3. Nikki says:

    Here is my problem with this. Who’s to say a man can’t walk in dressed as a woman, says “she” feels like a woman, just to get into a female bathroom or dress room. When in fact, they are predators. There has to be a line, and it shouldn’t be crossed. I’m sure surgery like that is expensive, and not every person who feels they need this change can afford it. And I also understand what kind of ramifications a male could possibly face going into a men’s restroom, dressed as a woman. I’m not in any way insensitive to their issues, but but what about our comfort zone??? That’s being invaded. I think to use a woman’s restroom, you should not have male parts, that simple.

    As far as religious beliefs, I agree with SKL.

  4. Joy says:

    Well. I’ll get to my reaction to her religious beliefs first. I feel in today’s times that you’re lucky to have a job and if your religious beliefs are causing you strife, you can always look for another job. I’m sure someone would really like to have the one you have. This world is full of different people with different views on everything and we have to learn to accept others for what they believe. It’s not our job in this world to tell other people how to live or judge them for who they are.

    Okay, these “policies.” First I’m a little confused with this story but I’ll just state it as it is. There’s a big difference in transgender and people who cross dress. Also, normally neither of these two are homosexual. The majority of cross genders are your typical married man who likes to cross dress “sometimes.” Transgender’s are people who go through medical procedures to become the oppostie sex that way and normally, they’re not homosexual either. People get that very confused.

    Okay. Should someone who’s one sex go into a bathroom or fitting room depending on a mood or a “I feel this way today” attitude? No. I personally don’t care really. If someone wants to cop a look at my naked hinder I say go for it. If a “normal” person is in the next stall to me either in a bathroom or a dressing room, I could give a rip BUT, and this is a BIG but, I have grandchildren and I have to care for them. I feel this is giving free reign to all the sickie’s of the world who could then claim cross dressing or transgender to get into places of children in the most vulnerable situation. If you have a penis, it’s the men’s room and if not, the woman’s room. It’s worked for all these years and it should be that way now.

    I guess what ticks me off is people who read and see stuff like this they automatically assume gay people, cross gender and cross dressers are all the same thing when they’re all completely different issues.

    • SKL says:

      I agree, they are different issues, but it doesn’t tick me off that not everyone is “up” on the differences. It’s not everyone’s thing. I don’t think it needs to be a required course. I would much rather people kept these things to themselves, than expect everyone around them to get educated on their identity issues. I don’t expect Hindus to know the difference between Lutherans and Catholics.

      • No, but if a Hindu were to give opinions about Christianity as a whole without educating herself on the fact that people practice their faith in different ways, wouldn’t you get offended? That’s what bothers me here, because I feel like you’re invalidating these people’s experience by issuing blanket statements about them.

        • SKL says:

          I haven’t issued any blanket statements about any class of people. I’m not the person who assumed these people were homosexual. That was stated as the employee’s complaint, or so says the article. I disagreed with her argument, if you notice.

    • Joy says:

      I agree. I don’t need to know either but if it is going to be brought up, people should know what the difference is. This article makes it sound like all or most transgender and cross dressers are homosexuals and that’s not the case.

  5. Wooooah. This is an issue I feel very strongly about. There is a huge difference between homosexuality and transexuality. Also there’s a huge difference between cross-dressing and transexuality.

    There’s a difference between someone’s sex and someone’s gender. Someone may be born with female genitalia but be a man or be born with male genitalia and be a woman. What’s between a person’s legs is not necessarily what determines their gender.

    Think about a woman (a woman with a penis, perhaps, but still a woman) trying to take a dress into the men’s changing room. She could be harassed, shamed, maybe even attacked. This has happened to people I know. Think about the opposite – a man (who maybe has a vagina, but who presents as male in every way) going to try on jeans in the women’s room. Wouldn’t the other women feel uncomfortable with a man being in there?

    SKL – I really take offense at the fact that you think that someone needs to have their penis removed in order to be a woman. Have you any idea what complexities are involved in surgeries like that? I also take offence at the fact that you think that trans people “just enjoy” “crossdressing” as you call it.

    • SKL says:

      As Joy said, separating the biological sexes has worked for all these years.

      I don’t care who wants to call him/herself a man/woman. When it comes to access to undressed women/girls, I’m going by the plumbing. I don’t see what’s offensive about saying people with penises use the men’s room. That’s what the men’s room is designed for, and vice versa.

      As for risks of a guy trying on a dress in the men’s changing room – yes, that is a risk. There’s also a risk if he changes in the ladies’ changing room. Does he really need to try on the clothes in public? I have gotten through my whole life hardly ever using changing rooms.

      I know it’s modern to believe that people just decide which gender they feel that they are. Perhaps I feel like a tree today. I will go through the day feeling offended if others do not view me as a tree. (In short, I’m not sold on the whole transgender thing. Not enough to make everyone else cater to it.)

    • mssc54 says:

      Yeh, I too have strong opinions on the sexes. If you have a penis you are male. If you have a vagina you are a female. Check the chromosones if the genetalia doesn’t work for you.

      If anyone with a penis goes into the ladies dressing room with my girls in there I won’t wait to check the store policy before I check on things.

  6. mssc54 says:

    The company was well within their right to fire the Christian woman. It’s no big deal. She was just standing by her morals and HER religious beliefs. Not only should she have been fired but she should have also been deemed unable to ever qualify for a job anywhere outside of her church.

    And since you brought up the bi-sexual thing. Just how does that work? Someone guy is attracted to an attractive woman but then she breaks up with him. He then sees an attractive man with whom to unburden himself and is then attracted to him? So this guy is deemed bi-sexual based on who is avaiolable to give him satisfaction? Seem perfectly logical. Sort of like that popular song in the early 1970s, “LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH”.

    • I can’t tell if you’re being serious are not. Do you really think that this is how bisexuality works? Because if so then I’m sorry, but that’s really not the case.

      • mssc54 says:

        How do you know it’s not? A horn-dog is a horn-dog no mater what lable you put on him/her. No control is no control.

        • How does being bi-sexual equal having no control? And excuse me, I know this because I AM bisexual. And I find it incredibly insulting that you simply assume that anyone who is able to be interested in both men and women is automatically somehow dangerously oversexed and uncontrollable.

  7. Joy says:

    Yes, see? This is my problem with the LGBT stepping in. People assume all *trans* people are gay and it’s so sadly not the case.

    • Joy – the LGBT community includes trans people. It stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans. That’s why they step in. You’re absolutely right that there’s no issues here of sexual preference, though.

    • Joy says:

      I know what it stands for but I think it’s very confusing for people who think this is all rolled into one easy roll. You can see what’s happened here. I “get” it Ilana. I really do.

      • I know you get it – and I appreciate the fact that you’ve educated yourself on the subject and haven’t given automatic judgement just because some things don’t necessarily fit in with your world-view.

      • Joy says:

        I know this from first hand experience and from growing up and thinking it wasn’t different. The gay person in my family was never “in the closet” so we were taught about it from the get go. I’m not like most people my age and I hate the automatic assumptions about homosexuality. I try really hard not to talk about it here because this is not a group on a whole that has understanding for it. It deeply hurts me inside when people are rude about this so I try and keep it to myself. The saddest part of all is that everyone has gay people in their lives and in their family, they just don’t know it. For most people here, it wouldn’t get brought up because you see the lack of compassion. If someone senses hate, they keep quiet and that to me is really sad.

        • *Hugs* You’re so wonderful, Joy. I love how extremely respectful you are of other people’s opinions and how compassionate you are to the fact that people are able to live differently than you and still have valid experiences. Truly. You’re truly inspirational to me.

  8. Not all trans people are gay, as Joy says.

    Also – SKL, people aren’t just “deciding” to be a different gender. It has nothing to do with modernism. This has been going on throughout all of history, and before you speak about this with such authority, I would recommend educating yourself on the issue. That’s why I find what you say offensive, because you’re writing something that basically tells a big community of people that their experience is not valid. What if someone told you that your identity as a parent wasn’t valid? Or if they told you that your religion was just not valid? Do you see what I mean?
    I don’t want to begin a violent discussion, and if you thought I was being aggressive, I apologize, because that wasn’t my tone at all. It’s sometimes hard to pass along emphatic expression in writing without it coming off as aggressive. This is just an issue I feel very strongly about because I’m part of both the LGBTQIA community and have several friends who are trans.

    • mssc54 says:

      So what a person does is who they are?! That is very interesting and can change on the mood.. apparently.

      • No, it doesn’t change by mood, at all. Trans people don’t sometimes “feel” like men and sometimes like women. Again, this is not how it works. They feel something extremely wrong with them their entire life when they’re treated as the gender they’re not. It’s only when they begin presenting as the gender they actually are and when they pass for that gender that they begin to feel right within themselves, right in society, and they finally feel like real people.

        • mssc54 says:

          Oh, I get all of them except for the bisexual thing. That’s the mood changing thing I was speaking of. I can’t help that you are offended. I mean if a person is gay or lesbian at least they are committed. I won’t bother repeating my previous comments.

          • It has nothing to do with being “committed.” For me, at least, it has to do with having feelings for people, for who they are more than what’s between their legs. But I guess we also have different values, since I don’t see sex as something dirty that should be repressed.

            • mssc54 says:

              See now there ya go. MY views are different and I view sex as dirty and repressed?! Give me a break! Oh wait, I don’t get the breaks because I’m straight. Forgot it’s different since I’m traditional.

              “It has nothing to do with being “committed.” For me, at least, it has to do with having feelings for people, for who they are more than what’s between their legs.”

              How sad for your partners. Just feel free to leave a wake of uncommitted relationships and be swayed by your feelings then.

              I have feelings too. I could have feelings for different women too if I were not genuinely commmitted to my marital relationship.

              You are right we are different. MY feelings are not the most important thing in the world. The way I feel isn’t the most important thing in the world. Getting my needs met isn’t the most important thing in the world. I guess what I am really trying to say is that anyone who follows their feelings where ever they lead them is pretty selfish and emotionally imature. Yes, we certainly are different. Thanks for point that out.

              And I was going to let that go but…

              • Joseph says:

                My grandmother said do not base your relationship on feelings. They come and they go.
                Our society is always concerned with their feelings. It is a ‘me’ centric society.

    • SKL says:

      Ilana, since when does anything I say determine who anyone else is or what their experience is? There are plenty of people who have opinions about my lifestyle and family structure (not to mention the billions of people who believe my religious beliefs are not valid). Lots of people in cyberspace assume, for example, that because I am politically conservative, I am a rich, greedy, selfish, racist person who has never struggled or worked hard. What they think determines nothing. They don’t even know me. They have no power over me. And I have no power over GLBT… individuals. If someone (“X”) thinks that my impression of X’s “experience” is relevant to who X is or how X feels about him/herself, then maybe X isn’t so sure of his/her identity in the first place.

      As for me “speaking with such authority” – if you go back and read calmly, I think you will notice that I did not in fact deny anyone’s experience. I was asked what I thought Macy’s policy should be, and I answered. I stated that I think people with penises need to stay out of places where women undress, and why. The most radical comment I made (in response to your jab at me) was that I was “not sold” on something. That is far from me getting up and making an authoritative, damaging statement on the subject.

      But since we’re on the subject of identity, let me ask you something. Is an anorexic person fat because s/he feels fat and adopts behaviors you’d expect from an overweight person?

  9. Joseph says:

    Why don’t they have a “Family Room”? A large company I worked with had us incorporate these “family rooms” for such instances. Although the hypersensitive politically correct militarization in our society, forbade them from calling them “Transgender Washroom/Change-Room”, as that is ‘segregation.’

    • mssc54 says:

      What is wrong with segregating the sexes? Splain how that is wrong please.

    • Joy says:

      They have one of those in the mall in St. Cloud. It’s a really nice one too. I don’t see anything wrong with this just for the fact that I had boys and I always worried when they went in alone. I was practically glued to the door!

  10. Joseph says:

    I don’t have a problem segregating the sexes. But big companies do. The company in question, upon legal advice called them ‘family room’, although a ‘family’ would almost certainly not use it, as it is a restricted office building, not a public space, except for the main floor.
    Macy’s just need to come down off the fence and pick a side.

  11. Laura says:

    i’m sorry that I posted this and then took off for the day. Interesting conversation took place while I was gone.

    I guess my question would be this: You spend what, ten, fifteen minutes in a dressing room? Why, then, would it be a problem to “pretend” for that fifteen minutes that you are the gender that your physical appearance says that you are? Same with public restrooms. If you have equipment that allows you to stand, you use the equipment that allows you to stand…

    The thing is, the world isn’t set up for our personal comfort. Using the dressing room that says “men” if you have a penis, even if you don’t identify that way, for five minutes, isn’t going to change who you are. I get that there would be some discomfort, and I sympathize with that. But at the same time, if that physical male uses the ladies’, “he” is making a bunch of other women feel uncomfortable. Now add the very real possibility that one of the women is a rape survivor or was molested as a child, and a guy comes walking in. Whether “he” identifies as a male or female, he LOOKS male. How about that other woman’s comfort zone?

    No, I think that use of dressing rooms/restrooms should be based on physical attributes. At least until the stores are willing to spend the money to install separate “gender neutral” dressing rooms/bathrooms.

    • mssc54 says:

      PU-LEEZE! You aren’t pretending what gender you are! Just check the DNA! If you have a penis you can call yourself whatever you want but scientifically you are MALE!.

      • Laura says:

        Well, in the absence of a DNA test (because it’s not like you can run down to Wal-Mart and get one the next time you pick up a six-pack)… You have to go with what you have. And yes, if you have a penis, you should use the men’s room.

        And yes, scientifically, that person is male. But apparently, there are occasions where wires get crossed. And if that person “feels like” a female, and chooses to dress/live/function as a female, who am I to tell him/her that he/she can’t? Frankly, that’s between that person and their chosen deity. Live and let live.

        However… when it comes to public places, I think that the physical attributes should trump whatever is going on inside. Like I said, it’s ten minutes out of your day.

        • Joseph says:

          It’s because ‘tolerance’ is no longer acceptable. The same tolerance and respect I will teach my children. Tolerance means I can keep my differing opinion, and still treat the other person with respect.
          But it is/has become ‘all or nothing’, accept me for the way I am, or your discriminationg against me. Tolernace is not kosher in the über politicized, politically correct society. It’s you MUST change your opinion to align with mine, you MUST accept my right to do what I want, or you’re labelled as homophopic/transphobic, narrow minded, uncompasionate, etc.
          Thus why this company I brought up can’t even call it a ‘gender neutral’ bathroom, as that is descriminating and could land them in hot water.

        • Joy says:

          You’re so right Joseph. Why can’t we be more tolerant of people with differing views without the name calling and always having to be right? We don’t have to always agree with everyone else but that doesn’t mean we need to knock people down or bully and name call. We don’t have to like what someone does but it shouldn’t mean we don’t like the person.

          • mssc54 says:

            Joy, you make a good point. And neither the straight camp nor the LBGTQIA (the list keeps growing it seems) camp can claim innocence in this. HOWEVER, we (straight) people were first expected to tollerate. Then we were expected to accept. The next step believe it or not is “worship” those LBGTQUAs. Just look at SB 48 in California.

            • Joseph says:

              We had a local radio station which was shut down. SHUT Down.
              The largest school division was implementing elementary level “two mommy/two daddy” curriculum/indoctrination, quietly, without parents notification.
              The radio station found out, and started discussing this, as they thought parents show know what their children are being taught. Nothing hateful. Just bringing up valid discussion. Common sense?
              Apparently not. The school division became the bully. Got the government involved. The station was ordered to cease and desist. They did not. The station was shut down. SHUT DOWN. No tolerance there.

              Must accept. Must not question. Must conform to social/political acceptable dictates.

              People talk about this worker at Macy’s and that she should get another job somewhere else. (Disclaimer: I don’t think the worker’s stand was correct, misguided yes). Where should she go to work? Seriously, where? Her Church is probably not safe either. Christian Bible Camps are being taken to human rights courts in my country because they do not want groups of people to use their facility that do not follow their statement of belief. There are plenty of other camps to use. Why force them to submit?
              Is it acceptable for a group of Christian pastors to go into a gay bar and start preaching to bar patrons? No, that would be considered trespassing and disturbing the peace, or some other legal term, and rightfully so.

              So then, why the double standard?

              Because tolerance is no longer acceptable. Full acceptance is the new norm, forced on everyone who disagrees. Their exists different standards/level of personal rights.

              This double standard is what frustrates me.

              • SKL says:

                I agree. “Live and let live” is now considered oppressive. Either I must educate myself and speak supportively of all these __sexual and trans__ lifestyles, or I am offensive. I must embrace the idea of penises in the locker room where my daughters are changing into their bathing suits. If this presents a safety issue (because I’m not allowed to even consider whether there’s a moral or practical issue in there), I guess I’m on my own. The concerns of people outside the LGBT… community come last.

                • mssc54 says:

                  The “accept at anyone’s cost” is EXACTLY what lead to the child sexual abuse cases we are now seeing in places like PENN STATE! People are afraid to say anything for fear of offending or (even more so) fear of being retaliated against!

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