Target has been in the news quite a bit lately due to their bathroom and dressing policy which allows people to use the store facilities based on the gender that they identify with. The retail giant has faced criticism from conservatives and some have even gone so far as to test the policy by sending men into women’s bathroom, and protesting at different stores. Petitions have been signed to boycott Target over the company’s bathroom policy, and the latest boycott comes again from the conservative group American Family Association. According to The Christian Post, AFA is calling for 1 million customers to boycott Target after a man was arrested for recording underage females in a Target dressing room in Bedford, New Hampshire last week.
Zachery Bishop, 22, was arrested for recording two young women changing clothes in the Bedford Target dressing room on Wednesday, June 22, as reported in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. One of the young women confronted Bishop and even followed him out of the store trying to restrain him, but he took off before the police arrived. Target employees helped the police identify Bishop and issued a warrant for his arrest. Bishop turned himself in and was charged with violation of privacy and held on $2,000 cash bail.
In light of that arrest, AFA has called for families to stop shopping at Target to send a message to the retail giant. President Tim Wildmon gave a statement about the petition which has already been signed by over 1.3 million people and urged families to boycott the retail chain starting with Independence Day.
“Over the Independence Day holiday and throughout the month of July, we’re asking all those who have signed the #BoycottTarget pledge to work diligently to get just one other person in their circle of influence to sign it as well. We want to give another boost to the boycott against Target’s unsafe and family unfriendly bathroom and fitting room policy.”
AFA has asked for boycotts of the Target stores before, claiming their bathroom policy makes it unsafe for children and women. Target CEO Brian Cornell maintains that Target wants to welcome and help everyone, including transgendered people, to feel included. Cornell also says that Target is “committed to safety.”
Wildmon claims that Target has been turning a “deaf ear” to the families who has expressed concern over these policies, and fears that men could target girls because of the policy. The arrest of Bishop is not the first time someone has been caught trying to film young girls in the dressing rooms of Target stores. Back in May, a man was caught recording a girl in the changing room at a Super Target in Frisco, Texas. Charles Sidney McKissack, III, from Corsicana, TX, was identified from a surveillance camera at the Target store and arrested on charges of “invasive visual recording.”
Target stock has had problems since the first AFA boycott, and Wildmon thinks that if customers stop shopping during the busiest summer season, Target may pay attention. Target CEO Cornell denies that the company’s market woes have anything to do with the boycott and the company stated in a shareholder meeting last month that they have no intention of reversing the bathroom policy, saying the policy will be in the company’s best interest in the long term.
AFA’s goal is to send another 1 million signatures to Target headquarters. In a previous AFA statement in June, Wildmon urged Americans to stand up for their values and let the Target corporation know they mean business.
“In order for corporate America to listen to the concerns of millions of Americans we must stand firm on our values. That means not spending money with companies that go directly against our values and put women and children in harm’s way.”
What are your thoughts on the petition by AFA to boycott Target over their bathroom policy?
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