Article by Taylor Romano | esPResso Staff Writer
According to USA Today, more than 700,000 people plan to boycott Target stores due to it’s new nationwide bathroom policy that allows the transgender community to use whichever gender specific bathroom they identify with, instead of the gender they were genetically born as.
This policy was put into action on the Target website April 19, 2016. This policy change is to show support for the Federal Equality Act. These unisex bathrooms stand behind Target’s strong belief of inclusivity. Target wrote an article on the company news blog, A Bullseye View to explain its decision to the public. In the article they stated “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.” This shows that the corporation is standing behind the policy and will not stand for discrimination.
Even with an abundance of support and appreciation from the LGBT Community, Target is still receiving a large amount of backlash from conservative shoppers, Christian activist groups, and The American Family Association. This backlash has led to a petition for customers to boycott Target; which was started Tuesday, April 26. Since then, over 744,800 signatures have been collected to bring awareness to the AFA’s stance and belief that transgender rights can encourage sexual harassment and assault. AFA’s concerns are that “a man can simply say he ‘feels like a woman today’ and enter the women’s restroom.”
This has been marked as one of AFA’s most successful campaigns and in the quickest amount of time. This will result in a loss of Target customers but Target is aware and will continue to keep the policy. “We certainly respect that there are a wide variety of perspectives and opinions,” says Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder. “As a company that firmly stands behind what it means to offer our team an inclusive place to work — and our guests an inclusive place to shop — we continue to believe that this is the right thing for Target.” (USA Today) Additionally, there are single-stall bathrooms in the family restrooms in Target stores available for customers who may feel uncomfortable about the policy.
Regardless of the backlash, Target stands by the statement; “Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.” Good on Target.