Target boycotters suffered a major blow in their campaign to change the transgender bathroom policy for the retailer. The American Family Association delivered the names of over 1 million boycotters who say they will not set foot in Target stores so long as the liberal bathroom policy stands with hopes that the retail chain would reverse their decision and give in during the boycott. Target CEO Brian Cornell responded to the backlash by saying that Target would not be backing down.
“We took a stance, and we’re going to continue to embrace our belief of diversity and inclusion and just how important that is to our company,” Cornell said of the Target transgender bathroom policy on CNBC.
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) May 12, 2016
The Target transgender bathroom policy came on the heels of a North Carolina law that forced transgender people to use the bathroom that matched their gender at birth. Target responded by posting an all-inclusive bathroom policy that said their transgender customers were welcome to use whichever bathroom that “corresponds to their gender identity.”
Almost immediately, the American Family Association retaliated against Target by waging a boycott of the retail stores so long as the transgender bathroom policy was in place. The AFA began a petition to boycott Target and amassed more than a million signatures from citizens who claim they will no longer be shopping at Target in the future.
Facing a massive boycott, Target CEO doubles down on company’s support of LGBTQ rights https://t.co/GTKZgDcRQM
— Daily Kos (@dailykos) May 12, 2016
On the American Family Association website, the group claims that Target’s transgender bathroom policy is “exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims.” That claim has upset many civil rights and LGBT activist groups who argue that sharing a bathroom with transgender individuals does not put anyone at risk.
Part of the AFA argument is that Target and other stores like them should add a family bathroom in addition to male and female facilities and then force transgender individuals to use that family bathroom by themselves. While that would solve all the drama surrounding the all-inclusive transgender bathroom policy, it still doesn’t solve the problem of singling these people out. Not to mention that most Target stores have a family bathroom that can be used by those who are not comfortable with their current policy.
THANK YOU, Target: Boycotts won’t weaken Target on its trans-friendly bathroom policy, CEO says. https://t.co/X1JZjFOPQQ
— huffpostqueer (@huffpostqueer) May 12, 2016
— The Advocate (@TheAdvocateMag) May 12, 2016
As the transgender bathroom debate rages on, it isn’t just retail stores that have come under fire. In the past week, the U.S. Justice Department sued the state of North Carolina for their “discriminatory and unenforceable” bathroom policy.
According to The Advocate, other national chains have followed Target’s lead by coming out with their own all-inclusive bathroom policies. They cited Saks, Barnes & Noble and Starbucks as companies who have also stood up for the transgender community and made it their policy that guests can use the bathroom for the gender that they identify with.
It was also pointed out that despite all the outcry over bathroom safety, there are no cases of anyone being molested by a transgender individual in a public restroom. To go even further, the report also claims that there have been no issues with cisgender individuals pretending to be trans in order to gain access to the opposite bathroom either.
Brian Cornell made it clear that Target was not backing down from their highly-disputed transgender bathroom policy.
“We had a lot of tough feedback,” Cornell said, “But sitting here today, I know we made the right decision.”
Do you think Target’s transgender bathroom policy should be upheld? So far, it looks like the retailer is maintaining profits despite more than 1 million signatures on the petition to boycott. Watch Brian Cornell speak about the boycott below and tell us what you think of this bathroom controversy in the comments section below.
[Photo by Lynn Sladky/AP Images]