Over one million Americans have signed a pledge to boycott the retail giant Target after officials announced that customers and employees are permitted to use the restroom that correlates with their “gender identity.”
As previously reported, Target outlined its company policy last week surrounding controversy over “bathroom bills” passed in North Carolina and Mississippi.
“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,” the announcement said.
“We regularly assess issues and consider many factors such as impact to our business, guests and team members. Given the specific questions these legislative proposals raised about how we manage our fitting rooms and restrooms, we felt it was important to state our position,” it continued.
The announcement drew both applause and criticism, and some vowed to discontinue shopping at Target until it changed its policy.
“I will no longer be shopping at Target,” one former customer wrote. “It is your right as a business to establish policies, but … you will also have to deal with the consequences.”
The Mississippi-based American Family Association (AFA) soon also launched an official pledge campaign to boycott Target. As of press time, the pledge has generated over one million signees.
“Target’s store policy endangers women and children by allowing men to frequent women’s facilities. Until Target makes the safety of women and children a priority, I will shop elsewhere,” it simply reads.
The organization said that it believes Target should provide a single occupancy restroom to help solve the issue.
“One solution is a common-sense approach and a reasonable solution to the issue of transgendered customers: a unisex bathroom. 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 option should be provided,” AFA recommended.
“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” President Tim Wildmon also clarified. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”
Mark West of Patriot Post calculated the potential financial impact of the boycott.
“I’ll use a very conservative calculation to extrapolate the impact of the #BoycottTarget petition so far. Assuming that the average customer makes two trips per month (a likely conservative number), and the signatures grow to one million (this was written just before that benchmark was passed), we arrive at $1.5 billion … in lost revenue annually to Target.”
He noted, however, that many others will not sign a petition and will “simply leave Target in disgust as they see a company that has abandoned common sense values.”
As previously reported, Target has also expressed their support for homosexuality in their company advertisements, releasing a commercial in 2014 that features two lesbian women who are preparing a room for the arrival of a child.