One Million Boycott Target's New Bathroom Policy
The April 19 announcement by Target to allow transgenders to access the bathroom of their choice in Target stores has ignited a heated controversy across the nation with a recent #BoycottTarget pledge from the American Family Association (AFA) reaching one million signatures in the first week.
On April 19 Target publicized its policy to allow self-identifying transgender individuals access to store bathrooms and fitting rooms that correspond with their own gender identity,
"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."
AFA's #BoycottTarget initiative has garnered widespread media attention, as AFA continues to maintain that while the Target policy aims to be welcoming to the transgender community, it opens the door for predators and voyeurs who would take advantage of such a policy.
AFA President Tim Wildmon told USA Today that the campaign is one of the AFA's most successful, adding that the #BoycottTarget initiative is the most powerful response to a campaign in AFA history, garnering more signatures more quickly than any other effort. Wildmon attributes the protest's viral nature to the fact that "everybody knows who Target is, and it's an easy-to-understand issue." But Target is standing by its policy.
Target issued this follow-up statement: "We certainly respect that there are a wide variety of perspectives and opinions. As a company that firmly stands behind what it means to offer our team an inclusive place to work—and our guests an inclusive place to shop—we continue to believe that this is the right thing for Target." According to USA Today, a Target spokeswoman added that hundreds of Target stores "have single-stall, family restrooms for those who may be more comfortable with that option."
According the the Family Policy Institute the new policy is seriously impacting the bottom line of Target as well saying, "Amid the turmoil surrounding the new policy and the immediate abuse of it in Missouri, the company’s stock fell from $84.10 per share on April 19 to roughly $79.36 as of Friday morning. That loss of $4.74 per share, if constant, would represent a corporate loss of over $2.5 billion."
As of Monday, May 2 the stock price rose 0.36% to $79.86.
The AFA responded, "We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public," he continued. "Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there."