(CNSNews.com) – A pro-family group has launched a boycott of Target after the retail store made it clear on Tuesday that its bathrooms and changing facilities can be used by anyone according to their gender identity.
The American Family Association said that more than 162,000 citizens signed its #BoycottTarget pledge within 24 hours.
“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” AFA President Tim Wildmon said in a statement. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans.
In a statement on its website, Target said Tuesday that transgender individuals are welcome to use any bathroom that fits the gender they identify with.
“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,” the retail chain said.
“In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways. Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity,” it said.
Target’s announcement was in reaction to the North Carolina bathroom law, H.B. 2, which states that public bathrooms and changing facilities are to be used according to the biological sex of the individual.
As a result, Target said it decided to reiterate to its “team members where Target stands and how our beliefs are brought to life in how we serve our guests.”
“Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children. Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable. It’s clear now that many customers agree. Target shoppers are leaving their allegiance to the store behind—and by the thousands every hour. No store can withstand that sort of loss,” Wildmon said.
Wildmon said his group does not believe that transgender individuals are a danger to the public at large, but objects to the policy on the basis that sexual predators can use it as “a possible gateway.”
“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” Wildmon said. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”
“Inclusivity is a core belief at Target. It’s something we celebrate. We stand for equality and equity, and strive to make our guests and team members feel accepted, respected and welcomed in our stores and workplaces every day,” Target said in a statement on its website.
This is not the first time the retail giant has taken a liberal stance on LGBT issues.
In 2014, it signed an amicus brief in support of gay marriage when the matter was pending before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2015, it signed on in support of the Equality Act, which “would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sexual orientation and gender identity, ban discrimination in areas including employment, housing, access to credit, public education and accommodations.”
On Aug. 7, 2015, it announced that it was removing “gender-based signage” in certain sections of its stores.
“Historically, guests have told us that sometimes—for example, when shopping for someone they don’t know well—signs that sort by brand, age or gender help them get ideas and find things faster. But we know that shopping preferences and needs change and, as guests have pointed out, in some departments like Toys, Home or Entertainment, suggesting products by gender is unnecessary,” it said on its website.
“Right now, our teams are working across the store to identify areas where we can phase out gender-based signage to help strike a better balance. For example, in the kids’ Bedding area, signs will no longer feature suggestions for boys or girls, just kids. In the Toys aisles, we’ll also remove reference to gender, including the use of pink, blue, yellow or green paper on the back walls of our shelves,” it added.
Wildmon said Target should find a “unisex compromise” to its current policy of allowing people to use bathrooms and changing facilities according to gender identity.
“A boycott, and customers leaving the store in droves, will cost even more,” Wildmon said. “If Target is truly committed to a solid policy that’s good for business—for everyone—and if they’re truly committed to the transgender community, the company will spend the money for a unisex compromise. Anything else smacks of an agenda-driven publicity stunt that stands in complete disregard for people who reject the policy.”