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Franklin Graham Urges More Christians to Sign Petition Boycotting Target over Transgender Bathrooms: 'Wake Up, America'

( [email protected] ) May 25, 2016 11:26 AM EDT
The Rev. Franklin Graham has once again criticized Target for allowing men to go into women's bathrooms if they identify as female and called on Americans to sign an online petition boycotting the retail chain.
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

The Rev. Franklin Graham has once again criticized Target for allowing men to go into women's bathrooms if they identify as female and called on Americans to sign an online petition boycotting the retail chain.

In a Facebook post shared on May 23, Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, argued that Target CEO Brian Cornell is in denial over the reason for the company's plunging stock prices.

"Target stock is tumbling after they announced a pro-transgender restroom policy allowing men to use women's bathrooms and changing rooms. Stock value has fallen 20 percent and shareholder value has lost $10 billion since they began promoting this dangerous policy," Graham wrote.

He cited media statement made by Cornell, where the Target CEO denied claims that the boycott is responsible for Target's monetary issues.

"To date we have not seen a material or measurable impact on our business. Just a handful of stores across the country have seen some activity and have been impacted," Cornell told Forbes last week.

Graham responded: "Really? He must be in denial. Wake up corporate America and stockholders - American families clearly do not want this. Over 1.2 million people have signed the online petition to boycott Target stores. This is sending a strong message, and I hope that millions more will sign it."

The evangelist concluded his message by sharing a petition started by the conservative group the American Family Association, which has collected over 1.2 million signatures against Target's new bathroom policies.

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.

In an earlier Facebook post, Graham praised those who have signed the 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."

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."

Despite growing opposition, Target has refused to reverse its bathroom policy: "Our focus on safety is unwavering. And we want to make sure we provide a welcoming environment for all of our guests," Cornell said in another interview earlier in May.