(WWLP) – One of America’s largest retailers is being targeted by a conservative group, upset over its bathroom policy. The American Family Association (AFA) is encouraging shoppers to boycott Target, which announced last week that employees and customers are welcome to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.
Target’s stance on the issue comes during a growing debate over transgender rights, and the use of public restrooms. North Carolina recently passed a state law that requiring multi-person restrooms or changing facilities (on government property) be used only by those of the corresponding sex as listed on their birth certificate. For example, a high school student who was born female but identifies as male would be required to use the women’s restroom and locker room. The law does not affect the policies of private businesses, though some companies have taken a public stand against the measure.
Target’s statement released last week is titled “Continuing to Stand for Inclusivity.” In it, the company expressed a desire for their customers and associates to have an “inclusive experience” there. They explained their restroom and fitting room policy, and talked about why they felt it important to take a stand as a company.
“We regularly assess issues and consider many factors such as impact to our business, guests and team members. Given the specific questions these legislative proposals raised about how we manage our fitting rooms and restrooms, we felt it was important to state our position. Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target,” the statement reads.
The AFA, however sees this policy as dangerous, particularly to women and girls. AFA President Tom Wildmon suggests Target establish single-occupancy unisex restrooms for transgender employees and guests, but says that the retailer’s current policy opens the restroom doors to potential predators.
“This means a man can simply say he ‘feels like a woman today’ and enter the women’s restroom… even if young girls and women are already in there. Target’s policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims. And with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women’s bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” Wildmon wrote.
The AFA is encouraging people to sign an online pledge reading “Until Target makes the safety of women and children a priority, I will shop elsewhere.” As news of the Target boycott spread, proponents of Transgender rights began encouraging like-minded people to show their support for Target.
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