December 13, 2011 11:57 am ET - by Carlos Maza
During a December 11 segment on Fox News’ America’s News HQ, host Shannon Bream invited former Macy’s employee Natalie Johnson and Mathew Staver, founder of the anti-LGBT Liberty Counsel, to discuss Johnson’s recent termination from her job in San Antonio, TX.
Johnson was fired earlier this month after she violated Macy’s non-discrimination policy by challenging a transgender teenager who chose to use the woman’s changing room. With the help of the Liberty Counsel, she has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
During the segment, Fox’s Bream listened quietly as her guests repeated a number of anti-trans smears, including referring to the transgender teen as “a man... wearing lipstick” and promoting the right-wing myth that transgender protections put women and girls “in jeopardy”:
Bream didn’t find it necessary to point out that, contrary to her guests assertions, transgender people are not just people who choose to slap on some lipstick for the day.
She didn’t mention that Staver and Johnson’s view of transgender people has been strongly rejected by the American Psychological Association, which condemns attempts to discriminate on the basis of gender identity.
Nor did she point out the extreme discrimination faced by transgender men and women in America on a daily basis. A recent survey found that 53 percent of transgender respondents had experienced discrimination in public accommodations, including 37 percent that report having been harassed or disrespected in a retail store.
Instead of accurately portraying the problem of discrimination based on gender identity, Bream allowed her guests to openly chuckle as they trivialized the experience of the transgender teen and attacked Macy’s non-discrimination policy.
This isn’t the first time that Fox News has demonstrated its willingness to abandon its “fair and balanced” mantra in order to advance an anti-LGBT agenda. The network routinely conducts softball interviews with anti-LGBT victims who claim their religious freedom is under attack.
Rather than making the effort to host a real discussion about the tension between non-discrimination and religious freedom, Fox prefers to let its anti-LGBT guests do all the talking.
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