Target bathrooms have been a hot topic lately, and now one Christian lawyer says that if she uses one, she’ll be carrying her Glock .45. Anita Staver, the president of the Liberty Council, a “theocratic law group,” says that she will be carrying her gun with her if and when she needs to use a bathroom at a Target store. The reason? So she can “protect herself” from anyone she thinks might be transgender, Raw Story reports.
The Christian lawyer made her announcement on Twitter on April 22 just days after Target announced a new bathroom policy that will allow transgender employees and guests to use the Target bathroom they feel most appropriate.
Target’s new bathroom policy has caused a major public backlash, with over 800,000 people now having signed the petition to boycott the nation’s third-largest retailer. The Target boycott has grown so large that it spawned the hashtag #BoycottTarget and has even resulted in at least one man secretly recording his encounter with Target security. During that encounter, he asked the target employee if it was okay for him to use the women’s restroom because he felt more comfortable. The Target employee told the customer to use the women’s room if he wanted and that if a woman had a problem with it, she could take it up with the store’s management. Target corporate stood behind that employee and their transgender bathroom policy.
Staver, among many other potential Target customers, is apparently very uncomfortable with the idea of sharing the women’s restroom with transgender individuals. As Attn: reports, the Christian lawyer’s threat to use the Target bathroom armed with a Glock .45 has escalated the #BoycottTarget movement beyond merely not shopping at Target to the threat of deadly violence. The Liberty Council lawyer was quickly called out on Twitter after announcing her plans to carry a gun if she used a Target bathroom in the future.
According to Anita Staver, she’s not afraid of transgender people, nor does she think that transgender people actually pose a significant risk or threat to Target patrons. However, the Christian lawyer did admit to concerns about the new Target bathroom policy being abused and exploited by people who wish to harm women.
@bettawerq90 not afraid of them. I want protection from the perverts who will use the law to gain access to women.— Liberty Lawyer (@AnitaStaver) April 23, 2016
Most of the Twitter responses to the Christian lawyer’s threat to carry a gun in Target bathrooms facilities were confused or concerned; few people seemed to agree with her reasoning or feel comforted by the idea of a woman with a gun peeing in the stall next to them. The Christian lawyer decided to clarify what she’d tweeted, but her clarification didn’t seem to put many minds at ease.
For the anti-gun folks freaking out about my #BoycottTarget tweet: I can't remember the last time I was in a public restroom without a gun.— Liberty Lawyer (@AnitaStaver) April 26, 2016
One Twitter user even responded that the Christian lawyer’s reaction to transgender bathroom rights, in her opinion, made Anita Staver an “irresponsible gun owner.”
While the Christian lawyer should be within her legal rights to carry a gun into a Target bathroom in Florida (her Twitter profile lists her as a resident of Florida and Washington D.C.), Target may not appreciate it if she carries at their stores. Despite being progressive when it comes to transgender and LGBT rights, Target has said in the past that it doesn’t want customers bringing their guns into stores. As the Huffington Post reports, back in 2014, well before the current transgender bathroom issue, the CEO of Target told people that customers carrying firearms don’t jive with the Target experience.
“This is a complicated issue, but it boils down to a simple belief: Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.”
Anita Staver is no stranger to controversial social issues. The Christian lawyer is married to a fellow attorney, Mat Staver. If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he was a lawyer for infamous anti-LGBT county clerk Kim Davis. Davis rose to notoriety when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Kentucky last summer following the Supreme Court’s historic ruling on gay marriage in the United States. Ultimately, the Christian lawyer’s husband wasn’t able to save Davis from herself, and she spent time in jail for contempt of court when she refused to adhere to legal rulings in the same-sex marriage matter.
What do you think? Does the Christian lawyer or Target have it right when it comes to the ongoing Target bathroom controversy?
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