Justice

The Target Bathroom Controversy Is Getting out of Control

April 26th 2016

By:
Alex Mierjeski

Just one day after it launched, a boycott petition of Target by a conservative Christian organization has picked up hundreds of thousands of signatures, as backlash against the retail chain's inclusive bathroom policy swells nationwide.

Protesting target

A petition launched by the American Family Association against Target's "dangerous new policy" had nearly 800,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.

The organization said that the store's policy enables sexual predators by giving men unfettered access to bathrooms used by "young girls or women."

"Target's policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims," the AFA said in a statement.

LGBT activists counter that the fears of transgender bathroom opponents are unfounded, inflammatory, and offensive.

target-bullseye

Last week, amid a national fervor over transgender people's access to bathrooms, Target clarified its stance on the debate, announcing in a statement that:

"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."

Critics of inclusive bathroom policies — which allow transgender people to use facilities according to their gender preference, not what's listed on their birth certificate — are essentially fearful of encouraging situations depicted in the below comic.

Trans bathroom fear

As ATTN: previously reported, however, instances of sexual assault involving a predator using a transgender identity as a cover are rare, if not non-existent.

Nonetheless, the #BoycottTarget movement has picked up a considerable amount of steam in recent days. According to one viral Facebook post, protesters think that Target's effort to foster inclusivity in fact does the opposite for many — apparently almost 800,000 — customers.

Transgender access to bathrooms launched onto the national debate stage in recent weeks, following the passage of bills in Mississippi and North Carolina that severely limit transgender protections. Both bills have garnered massive amounts of backlash, and this week, lawmakers in North Carolina filed a bill seeking to repeal the state's controversial legislation.