A three-judge appeals court in Illinois unanimously ruled last week that the Christian-owned Hobby Lobby violated the Illinois Human Rights Act by refusing to allow a male employee who identifies as a woman to use the women's restroom. The craft store chain has been ordered to pay the East Aurora store employee $220,000 in attorneys' fees for "emotional destress."
The male employee began working for Hobby Lobby in 1998 and began transitioning to a female in 2007. In 2010, his transition to Meggan Sommerville was complete, and he formally informed Hobby Lobby of his intent to begin using the women's bathroom at the store.
Although Hobby Lobby changed Sommerville's personnel records and benefits information to reflect a "female identity," the store never allowed the employee to use the women's restroom over the past decade.
"Hobby Lobby even built a unisex restroom for this gender-confused guy," Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) details. "They built a unisex restroom, and that wasn't good enough for this activist, [who] said, 'I'm being treated [differently] from all the other women.' Well, guess what? You're not a woman, so of course you have to be treated differently than the real women."
LaBarbera goes on to lament that in siding with Sommerville, the court is accommodating a tiny fraction of the population. But in reality, people who are confused about their gender have a mental problem and need counseling for that, not affirmation in it.
"A lot of these guys who are now wearing dresses and pretending that they're women remain sexually attracted towards females," the AFTAH president points out. "So why would we let them go use the restroom that should be safe for women and girls?"
LaBarbera does not expect Hobby Lobby to be the last Christian business that will be targeted by the trans agenda, as he fully believes transgender activists will specifically go after such establishments because of their Christian basis.