Macy's worker fired for denying dressing room to transgender customer

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by Mayra Moreno / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @mayramorenokens

kens5.com

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 11:55 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 8 at 9:22 AM

SAN ANTONIO -- A local college student says she was fired from her job for refusing to allow a transgender woman into the women's dressing room. Now she's speaking out, saying her religion conflicts with the store's transgender policy.

Liberty Counsel, a religious advocacy group, is representing 27-year-old Natalie Johnson after she was fired over the Nov. 30 confrontation. Johnson said she was never aware of Macy's transgender policy, but now that she is, she doesn't agree with it.

"Any man who is in the process of becoming a woman, well guess what? You are still a man," Johnson said.

The customer claimed to be a woman, and became offended when Johnson denied her from using the women's dressing room inside the Macy's at the River Center.

"There was a young man who was going into the women's fitting room so my female customers were at stake too," Johnson said.

She said the policy also conflicts with her religious beliefs.

"They wanted me to believe that the young man I was looking at was a woman," Johnson said. "He wasn't. He was just a man with makeup on and women's clothing."

The conflict is not unfamiliar to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. LGBT activist Lauryn Farris said situations like this happen all the time.

"We have to begin to ask ourselves, are we really doing this because we are afraid or are we just practicing hate because that's what we were taught?" Farris said.

While Johnson is now out of a job, she said she will stand by her beliefs.

"I personally don't believe in transgenders," Johnson said. "These are just people that are mentally confused."

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