A Catholic employee at a Macy’s department store in Flushing, New York was fired for disagreeing with the store’s transgender bathroom policy, which allows men who claim to be women the use of women’s facilities and vice-versa.
When the former employee, Javier Chavez, was informed about the policy, he insists that he told management that he would adhere to the policy even though, as a Catholic, he disagreed with it. This dissent was apparently enough to get Chavez fired. In other words, he was made to care.
In May, Chavez, who was a senior store detective at the time, received a call about a male entering the women’s restroom.
According to Life Site News, “A female customer and her daughter were afraid to enter the restroom due the male’s presence there, and a security guard reporting to Chavez directed the man to leave and use the men’s room. The man left, claiming to be a female, before then complaining to the store officials about being asked to leave.”
After the incident, an assistant store manager told Chavez that some males were permitted to use the women’s restroom. This was news to Chavez.
He was also told that trans individuals may use the bathroom of their choosing. Again, this was news to Chavez.
Chavez told management that he was never informed of such policy, but said that though “it was contrary to his religion and the Bible,” he would still enforce the policy.
“Macy’s would not leave this alone,” said Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, “and this is where it crossed the line.”
Chavez was immediately suspended by the human resources manager, and then fired soon after.
“According to a legal complaint, the retailer terminated Chavez even though he had not previously been made aware that Macy’s allowed transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their choice, and also in spite of the fact Chavez had promised to uphold the policy while working. His case is now before the New York State Division of Human Rights,” notes Life Site.
“After my employer learned that I was a practicing Catholic, with religious concerns about this policy, I was terminated because of my religion, in violation of the New York State Human Rights Law,” says Chavez’s complaint.
Donohue argues that Macy’s actions were out of line: The store that “no lawful or moral basis for terminating Chavez, and that in doing so, the retailer acted like a totalitarian regime.” The store’s actions “conflict with the principle of religious liberty,” he added.
“The most basic religious right is the right to believe,” continued Donohue. “If conscience rights can be vitiated, the First Amendment means nothing.”
“Macy’s has no legal, or moral, grounds to stand on,” he said. “For merely holding beliefs that are contrary to the store’s policy, Chavez was fired.”
This is not the first time Macy’s has shown great intolerance toward a religious person: In 2011, Macy’s fired San Antonio employee Natalie Johnson after she told a man, who was dressed in drag, that the women’s fitting room “was for women only.”
“I couldn’t lie and say that he was a woman,” said Johnson. “I’m going to be accountable to what I say to my Lord Jesus…I had to either comply with Macy’s or comply with God.”