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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Target Discriminates at the Pharmacy

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. - Get Involved: "Imagine walking into a pharmacy with a prescription and being told by the pharmacist, 'I won't fill it. It's my right not to fill it.' Yes, it's outrageous, but this is exactly what happened to a 26-year-old woman who presented a prescription for emergency contraception at a Target in Fenton, MO, on September 30. Planned Parenthood is demanding that pharmacists dispense medication, not moral judgment"
With thanks to Crooks and Liars and AMERICAblog for the information, Existential Ramble, a long-time Target customer, offers an open letter to Target: I wish to register my dismay and shock at the information that Target has chosen to cater only to fundamentalist Christians. By allowing pharmacists in Target employ to exercise their religious beliefs to the detriment of Target customers, Target has chosen a single, targeted issue upon which to discriminate. If Target were seriously going to implement such a policy, it would also be possible for a Christian Scientist in Target employ to refuse to sell me medicine of any sort. If Target were serious about a policy of respecting employees' "sincerely held religious beliefs," you would need to completely stop serving my family because many of your employees have sincerely held beliefs that, while contrary to science, are sincerely held in believing that gay men and lesbian women are sinners who choose perversion and are outcast from society. This is a sincerely held belief. Where does it end? Well, it ends when Target recognizes that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not mean that the sincerely held religious beliefs of employees dictate the function of your business. It simply means that if I sincerely believe that Tuesdays are Holy to my God, then I should be accomodated in scheduling that I might not be required to work on Tuesdays. It means that if I sincerely believe in Zeus as the principle god of the pantheon, I should not be discriminated against in employment. It does not mean that if my religious belief makes the job impossible that you must hire two people to do the job: a Christian Scientist clerk except for aspirin and then another clerk will scan the aspirin. Allow your employees to hold their religious beliefs and allow them the time to do so on their own time. Do not tread on mine by insisting that the employee trumps the paying customer. I have some faith in a commercial organization that has demonstrated real sense in so many areas, so I will await your change of policy.

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