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Target Transgender Bathroom Controversy: Christian Leaders Call for Continued Boycott of Retail Chain

( [email protected] ) Aug 24, 2016 11:59 AM EDT
Christian leaders have urged Americans to continue boycotting Target over the retail chain's refusal to drop its transgender bathroom policy and failure to protect women and girls from sexual predators.
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

Christian leaders have urged Americans to continue boycotting Target over the retail chain's refusal to drop its transgender bathroom policy and failure to protect women and girls from sexual predators.

In a recent statement, Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, argued that Target's announcement that it plans to spend millions to add private single-stall locking bathrooms at many of its stores in an effort to resolve the controversy is simply "not enough" to protect vulnerable women and girls.

"Our major concern was that Target's policy would grant voyeurs and sexual predators easier access to their victims by allowing men in women's restrooms and changing areas, which puts women and girls in danger," Wildmon wrote in a letter to Target CEO Brian Cornell on Monday.

"Unisex bathrooms are fine, but our request has always been that Target maintain the gender-specific bathrooms as well - if the company is interested in guaranteeing the safety and privacy of women and girls who patronize the retailer's stores," Wildmon added.

In April, Target announced it would allow transgender workers and customers to use the restroom assigned with their preferred gender, sparking backlash from many in the Christian community. The outrage escalated when, in July, Idaho police arrested a man - who identified as a transgender woman - on one count of felony voyeurism after he took pictures of a woman while she was changing clothes in a Target dressing room

Over one million customers signed AFA's boycott of the retail chain, and a significant decrease in shopper traffic eventually prompted the company to seek a resolution.

"It's clear that some of our guests like and some dislike our inclusive bathroom policy," Target chief financial officer Cathy Smith told reporters on a media briefing.

However, AFA announced it will not drop its boycott, as the store continues to allow men to go into women's bathrooms and changing facilities: "AFA's boycott will remain in place until Target agrees that protecting the safety and privacy of women and children is of paramount concern. To demonstrate that commitment, we ask that you reverse your current bathroom and fitting room policy," the letter to Target explained.

Evangelist Franklin Graham has also urged Christians to sign the pledge to boycott Target, taking to Facebook to alert his 4 million followers of the company's practices.

"They could've saved a lot of money-and a lot of customers-by not adopting their dangerous policy in the first place!" he wrote. "When over a million people sign a pledge to boycott, that's a loud and clear message Target shouldn't have a problem understanding-biological men do not need access into women's bathrooms or dressing rooms!"

Tags : Target Boycott, Target transgender bathroom, bathroom policy, LGBT, transgender, American Family Association, Franklin Graham