A family advocacy group says Target’s $20-million public relations “diversionary tactic” wrongly implies the retailer has changed its controversial bathroom policy.
The American Family Association continues to voice its concerns over Target’s policy that gives men access to areas historically reserved for women. In April, Target announced it is allowing transgender employees and customers to use bathrooms and changing rooms for the gender with which they say they identify.
In Target’s opinion, the move is about “inclusivity” – but AFA is concerned the policy puts women and children at risk of sexual predators who take advantage of the policy; thus the boycott of the retailer that has gathered thus far more than 1.4 million signatures.
Last week, Target made headlines by announcing it will spend $20 million to add single-stall bathrooms to stores that don’t already have them. But AFA says that’s not new information – and, in fact, says the retailer is being “deceptive” in its use of language.
“Back in May, Target publicized and told us personally … that they were adding single-stall restrooms to the rest of their stores,” spokesman Walker Wildmon says. “We told them when we met with them that this does not address our main concern because their policy still allows men access to women’s restrooms and changing rooms.”
Wildmon calls single-occupancy, unisex bathrooms a good step in the right direction – but argues that unless Target has gender-specific bathrooms and changing rooms, the retailer hasn’t addressed AFA’s main concern.
“Adding more bathrooms isn’t the solution. Not allowing men in women’s facilities is the solution,” says an AFA Action Alert released Monday.
To reiterate his organization’s concern, AFA president Tim Wildmon also wrote to Target CEO Brian Cornell on Monday to remind him of the group’s boycott.
“We address our main safety concerns with Target – and that is that their policy right now allows men access to women’s changing facilities and restrooms,” says Walker Wildmon about Monday’s letter. “Right now, with Target’s policy men can simply say they feel like a woman today and they can access the same changing rooms as our wives and daughters.”
Meanwhile, AFA maintains that it doesn’t feel the transgender community poses a threat to other shoppers. The letter to Target’s CEO says as much – as does the group’s spokesman.
“From the beginning of this boycott, we’ve always stated that we don’t believe transgender individuals are necessarily a threat or a safety concern,” says Walker Wildmon. “It’s sexual predators and voyeurs who will take advantage of this policy to gain access to their victims.”
AFA says it plans to continue the boycott until the company reverses its policy.
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.