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Franklin Graham Joins Nearly One Million In Boycotting Target Over Transgender Policy: 'They're Putting Everyone At Risk'

( [email protected] ) Apr 28, 2016 12:18 PM EDT
Evangelist Franklin Graham has joined nearly 1 million people in signing a petition to boycott Target after the company announced it will allow men to go into women's bathrooms if they identify as female.
In June, Target introduced its "Pride Manifesto," stating its commitment to promoting inclusivity and "taking pride in who we were all born to be."
Photo Credit: AP Photo

Evangelist Franklin Graham has joined nearly 1 million people in signing a petition to boycott Target after the company announced it will allow men to go into women's bathrooms if they identify as female.

"Target is putting its shareholders - and its customers - at risk! Just since last Wednesday over [854,000] people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new bathroom policy that welcomes employees and guests to use the restrooms or fitting rooms that 'corresponds with their gender identity.' Target certainly has the prerogative to make this decision, but it's proving to be bad for business," Graham wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday about the American Family Association's petition.

"I'm glad people are standing up and letting them know this is wrong. I agree with the American Family Association - this policy encourages sexual predators and puts women and children in danger. A man shouldn't be able to enter the women's restroom or dressing room because he says he 'feels like a woman today.' That's ridiculous," Graham continued.

Graham, who is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, argued that gender identity isn't something we choose or feel.

"We are the sex God created us to be - male or female. How a person feels doesn't change the facts," he wrote.

Target made headlines earlier this month after announcing it will continue to allow transgender customers and employees to use the bathrooms and fitting rooms of their preference in light of the recent debate around gender-segregated public facility laws.

"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 wrote in a statement released on its corporate website Tuesday.

"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."

In its petition, AFA argues that the policy is a perfect example of "how sexual predators get access to their victims."

"And with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?" the petition asks.

"Clearly, Target's dangerous new policy poses a danger to wives and daughters. We think many customers will agree," it adds.

Because the rule does not protect women and children, the AFA is urging Target to consider offering unisex bathrooms for those that want to use them, but still keep separate bathrooms for men and women as an option.

Last year, Target announced it had decided to back away from gender-specific signage and go "gender neutral" in its stores by eliminating the colors blue and pink in displays and signage and getting rid of the words "boys" and "girls" on clothing and toys wherever possible.

At the time, Graham criticized the move and accused the retail giant of "forgetting who has made their stores strong."

"It's not gender-neutral people out there-it's working American families, fathers and mothers with boys and girls they love," he wrote.

"What's next? Are they going to try to make people believe that pink or blue baby showers are politically incorrect? I have news for them and for everyone else-God created two different genders. Jesus said, 'Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female' (Matthew 19:4). You can't get any clearer than that."