The nationwide drugstore chain Walgreens has adopted a policy allowing males who identify as females to use the women’s restroom, and vice versa.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California shed light on the policy on Monday, which had been rolled out in November after a man who identifies as a woman lodged a complaint that he had been told by an employee to use the men’s room.
“All individuals have a right to use restroom facilities that correspond to the individual’s gender identity, regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth,” reads a Walgreens’ policy document entitled “Transgender Inclusion,” dated effective Nov. 21, 2017, under a section on restroom accessibility.
The policy also generally prohibits any type of harassment or discrimination against those with gender dysphoria, outlining that those who do so may be subject to discipline or termination.
“Walgreens family of companies subscribes to a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression/presentation,” the document states. “The intent of this policy is to support transgender individuals and foster an environment of inclusion and mutual respect. Because the needs of individuals vary, this policy cannot anticipate every situation that may arise.”
The ACLU says that the move is the result of an incident that took place last year in Hollywood, California, where a man who goes by the name Jessie Meehan asked to use the women’s restroom while on his way to a “LGBT pride” event in Los Angeles. Meehan says he was told by the clerk to use the men’s restroom.
“I asked her why, and she told me I looked like a man and needed to use the men’s room,” Meehan said in a press release.
Upset that he ended up having to use the urinals in the men’s room, Meehan set out for a change to company policy with the aid of the ACLU of Southern California. The organization then began talks with Walgreens officials, and states that its efforts led to the policy rollout.
Walgreens has long been a proponent of homosexual and transgender causes.
“California law protects every person’s right to access restrooms based on their gender identity in workplaces, schools, and business establishments,” ACLU attorney Amanda Goad, who initiated contact with Walgreens, said in a statement. “It’s important for businesses to make sure their employees understand that requirement, just like Walgreens is now doing, because Jessie Meehan had the courage to stand up for her rights.”
However, similar to the concern that arose when retail chain Target announced in April 2016 that its restrooms may be used in accordance with one’s “gender identity,” pro-family groups are asking Christians to speak out on the matter.
The American Family Association (AFA) has again created a petition urging Walgreens to reverse its decision.
“Walgreens’ store policy endangers women and children by allowing men to frequent women’s restrooms. As an example, since a similar public policy was announced by Target Stores, Inc. two years ago, dozens of women and children have been victimized by male predators inside Target stores,” the petition asserts. “Walgreens’ new policy could potentially result in female customers becoming victims of voyeurism, sexual assault and physical attack.”
It is also requesting calls to the Walgreens corporate office at 800-925-4733.
The late preacher and author A.W. Tozer once warned, “There is no Christian victory or blessing if we refuse to turn away from the things that God hates. Even if it is accepted in the whole social class of which you are a part, turn away from it. Even if there is something that has come to be accepted by our generation, turn away from it if it is wrong and an offense to our holy and righteous Savior.”