Retailer inflexible about controversial policy

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Charlie Butts (

Macy'sA well-known chain of department stores won't surrender on its transgender policy, compelling a national organization to issue a warning – especially to women and children.

In July, OneNewsNow reported on the situation of Macy's security guard Javier Chavez, a 26-year employee at the flagship New York store. Rick Henshaw of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights explains that Chavez responded to an urgent in-store request.

"He was called because a woman and her young daughter were upset with a man in the lady's room," Henshaw recalls, "and he went and told [the man] he couldn't use the lady's room – and a controversy ensued. The man complained to management, which informed Javier Chavez that Macy's policy was that a transgender man could use the lady's room."

Chavez responded he would comply with the policy even though it violated the tenets of his faith – yet he was fired. He then filed a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights alleging discrimination on the basis of religion.

According to the Catholic League, employees of the chain are instructed to resist "the impulse to judge the person by his/her appearances" because "sex and gender are not the rigid categories that we may assume them to be."

Henshaw argues that such a policy "puts a real burden on employees" by forcing them to decide if a person is really transgender – and makes for a dangerous environment.

"You know we're very concerned – and rightly so – about issues of sexual harassment, sexual abuse of minors," he tells OneNewsNow, "and yet we're going to throw open bathrooms and changing rooms to people of both genders."

He concludes by explaining the League simply wants shoppers to know that it's possible a woman or girl using female facilities at Macy's could encounter a man invading their privacy – or worse.


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