Over 900,000 people in a Christian activist group have pledged to boycott Target after implementing its recent transgender-friendly bathroom policy, according to ABC News.
The American Family Association (AFA), which was founded on biblical principles, took to their website to create a petition against the massive retail chain’s new inclusive policy. While some view this action by Target as progressive, AFA disagrees and makes it entirely clear on their homepage.
“Target has crossed the line by intentionally exposing women and girls to voyeurs and sexual predators with their restroom and dressing room policy.”
AFA President Tim Wildmon has also made it a point to share his disdain over the retailer’s decision on the organization’s website.
“Target’s policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims. And with Target boasting that men can enter women’s bathrooms, where do you think the predators are going to go?”
Wildmon has also tried to draw a humorous comparison between a transgender person’s right to self-identify as a designated gender and his right to identify as a Target employee.
Last week, Target released a statement supporting the Equality Act, according to the Washington Post.
“We believe that everyone – every team member, every guest, and every community-deserves to be protected from discrimination and treated equally…Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination.”
In response to Target’s announcement, the AFA created the petition. According to reporting done by the Washington Post, the AFA fears the possibility of men preying on young girls and women.
Others have sided with the AFA. According to The Anniston Star, the City Council of Oxford, Alabama has made it illegal to use a restroom that doesn’t match your birth certificate, as of Wednesday. The new law is enforced within the police jurisdiction and city limits, according to the publication. Those who break the law will receive a $500 fee and up to six months in prison. Council President Steve Waits explained the reasoning for passing such legislation.
“It’s not out of the concerns for the 0.3 percent of the population who identify as transgender…but to protect our women and children.”
While the AFA has taken a clear stance, others do not necessarily see the harm in the retail store’s new policy. In an interview with CBS Chicago, Target shopper Santino Gill supported the store’s statement.
“I don’t feel like they should get discriminated against if they feel comfortable as long as they aren’t harming nobody.”
Though some view the issue as black and white, others are going as far as offering solutions to Target’s transgender bathroom policy. Ralph Rivera, who is a lobbyist for the Illinois Family Institute, offered his opinion to CBS Chicago.
“They can be inclusive, they can put a separate bathroom that’s for anyone to walk in.”
AFA also proposed a similar idea in the blog post accompanying their petition, calling for the creation of unisex restrooms.
“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex bathroom option should be provided.”
According to the Washington Post, the AFA was established in 1977 by First United Methodist pastor Donald E. Wildmon in Mississippi. The pro-family organization prides itself on basing their culture in “biblical truth.”
[Photo By Scott Olson/Getty Images]