One of Target's frequent public statements is that they want customers "to have a great experience every time they visit the chain's stores." But after the large retailer announced in April its locations will allow people to choose which bathrooms and dressing rooms they want to go into, based on the gender they identify as, rather than their birth sex, more than 1.2 million consumers are pledging to avoid the stores altogether. Some estimates indicate Target's corporate financial worth has decreased by $1.8 million.
American Family Association, a conservative Christian activist group based in Mississippi, is still gaining signatures from people pledging online to boycott Target over its new, transgender bathroom policy.
AFA President Tim Wildmon said Target crossed the line by intentionally exposing women and girls to voyeurs and sexual predators with their restroom and dressing room policy.
According to the Associated Press, Target was the first major retailer to publicly stand up for so-called transgender rights in this area.
Previous Gospel Herald articles about this issue include:
One person, Cindy Wiegand, Monday posted on the AFA Facebook page that she cut up her card, and is refusing to shop at Target, "as they truly opened the door for any peeping tom to 'claim' they are female."
On Tuesday, Rachel Widger Marsch stated on the same online page that her family will not support a liberal retail store that promotes this kind of policy. "There are plenty of other stores to shop at. Target has no regard for the safety of women and children. Don't spend your money at Target!"
On the other hand, Rob Charowsky posted the Target's new policy is not a problem because Target isn't welcoming men into restrooms to be criminals. "That's not their policy and never will be. They deal with crime like every store will."
Charowsky pointed out that it's been more than two weeks since the policy was announced, and "for all this danger that women are supposedly in at Target, there has not been one legitimate situation where a man dressed as a woman and molested people in the bathroom. Because that's not how predators work. Predators are not using public bathrooms for crimes because that's the easiest place to get caught. All those cameras plus the Target bathrooms are in the front of the store. That'd be the most ridiculous crime to commit."
AFA spokespeople claim the Target boycott proposal is one of their most popular campaigns.
From a business standpoint, quantifying the transgender population in the U.S. is difficult due to fears of discrimination, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality. However, various research firms have produced rough estimates between 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent of the total population as being transgender. According to U.S. Census data, that amounts to less than one million people who identify that way. Consequently, this figure is outnumbered by just the AFA petitions.