Target Changes Restoom Policy After Receiving Boycott Threats

Target Changes Restroom Policy After Receiving Boycott Threats

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Target from Flickr via Wylio© 2014 Mike Mozart, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Target has announced that after listening to their customer base and carefully reviewing the newly announced chain-wide policy regarding transgender customers using the bathroom that matches their gender identity, they have decided to temporarily reverse the policy until they can find a new solution that ensures all of their guests are comfortable while using the restroom.

The recent controversy surrounding Target was set in motion on Tuesday April 19th when they released the following statement confirming a new policy about customers and bathrooms:

“Recent debate around proposed laws in several states has reignited a national conversation around inclusivity. So earlier this week, we reiterated with our team members where Target stands and how our beliefs are brought to life in how we serve our guests.
Inclusivity is a core belief at Target. It’s something we celebrate. We stand for equality and equity, and strive to make our guests and team members feel accepted, respected and welcomed in our stores and workplaces every day.

We believe that everyone—every team member, every guest, and every community—deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally. Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination.

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.

We regularly assess issues and consider many factors such as impact to our business, guests and team members. Given the specific questions these legislative proposals raised about how we manage our fitting rooms and restrooms, we felt it was important to state our position.

Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.”

The organization that undoubtedly had the most impact in pressuring Target to reverse their policy surrounding restrooms was the American Family Association who utilized their website and social media platforms to encourage Target patrons to sign a pledge agreeing to boycott Target stores. According to the American Family Association, Target’s new store policy endangers women and children by allowing men to frequent women’s facilities. At the time of this article, the American Family Association’s petition has received 324,334 signatures. Several public figures including politicians have also publicly spoken out in opposition of Target’s policy.

Target spokesperson Jeremy Clarke released the following statement on Saturday April 23rd, “Our goal has always been to create an environment that is inclusive and comfortable for all of our guests. We did not previously understand the magnitude of our decision and could not foresee the large population of guests that could potentially be placed in an uncomfortable position by the policy. We will be working diligently to implement a new policy that is amicable for all guests. We have discussed creating a third restroom option for our unisex or LGBT guests.”

According to Clarke, properly addressing this issue has become a top priority and Target executives expect to have a resolution by the end of 2016.

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Business like Target should stay out of frays like this -- in other words let the dust settle. Sanity with this issue would return.

Pat, I couldn't agree more. 

Spoof site. Nothing official from Target on reversing their policy. :-(

see my post below...

New Target bathroom sign

Tis true- tis somewhat true 

​Why Target is taking stand on transgender people and bathrooms

In the battle over transgender rights, Target (TGT) says it stands for "inclusivity."

The retailer says it wants shoppers to use whichever bathroom or fitting room matches their gender identity, saying the announcement reflects its commitment protect people from discrimination. The decision comes amid growing controversy over North Carolina's "bathroom law," which requires that people in the state use bathrooms that match their birth genders.

"Inclusivity is a core belief at Target. It's something we celebrate. We stand for equality and equity, and strive to make our guests and team members feel accepted, respected and welcomed in our stores and workplaces every day," the company said in statement.

Public sentiment has largely swung in favor of progressive issues such as LGBT rights, while theSupreme Court's ruling last year on marriage equality emboldened many corporations to support equality measures.

Still, the issue remains controversial, and some Target customers are vowing to boycott the store.

"It's too bad that Target had to make such a drastic decision so as to accommodate 0.03% of our population," one shopper wrote on its blog. "I, and others I'm sure, will no longer feel welcomed or respected at Target because of this decision, and will no longer receive my money or support. Goodbye, Target."

Given the pushback, why is Target taking a stand on transgender rights? For one, the corporation's progressive stance is nothing new. It said last year it would stop using gender-based signs for toys after some customers expressed frustration with labeling shelves as "boy" toys or "girl" toys.

It may also be a smart business decision, based on the response to states that have imposed anti-gay or transgender laws. Those states -- Indiana and North Carolina among them -- have incurred significant business losses as a result, with organizations moving their conferences or events into more LGBT-friendly locations. Indiana lost as much as $60 million in revenue following its "religious freedom law," which permits discrimination against gay people, after conventions and events relocated elsewhere.

While many voiced their criticism of Target's policy on the retailer's blog, plenty of shoppers also expressed support.

"You got it right! I'm sure you are hearing from bigots who probably don't even live near a Target," one person noted. "Remember the antigay fools' boycotts of Disney? Coca-Cola? Wells Fargo? And countless other companies? They are still [raking] in the money."

The movement for transgender rights is growing, even emerging as an issue in the presidential campaign. Republican candidate Donald Trump on Thursday expressed support for bathroom rights for transgender people -- well, at least for one specific transgender person: Caitlyn Jenner, a Trump supporter.

It's likely that those examples weren't lost on Target. Disney (DIS) has angered conservative critics for its "Gay Days," an event that started in the 1990s and is aimed at creating a welcoming environment for LGBT visitors. Disney has also provided benefits to same-sex partners for years. And despite outcries from opponents of LGBT rights, Disney's business has hardly suffered. The stock has more than tripled during the past 10 years, compared with a 62 percent gain for the S&P 500 index.

As Target noted, "We regularly assess issues and consider many factors such as impact to our business, guests and team members. Given the specific questions these legislative proposals raised about how we manage our fitting rooms and restrooms, we felt it was important to state our position."

The community of transgenders indeed small. Transgender should be less broadly defined. Persons who wish to dress in opposite gender clothes a little bit of a stretch. Men who dress in women's attire well that presents issues for most folks. Never liked gay men adorning themselves with women's attire since they take to the extreme what a woman should look like.

If you saw me well I will wear mens shorts why cause they fit me better than absurd shorts they sell for women. I will wear a ballcap and t-shirts. I am not transgender just comfortable and I do not wish to use men's facilities.

Reminds me of a funny story. We were at Mayo Clinic. I had to pee so I rolled myself in my wheelchair into the women's restroom. It was very hot in Scottsdale, wore shorts, had a baseball cap on, my hair is cut very short, had on tennis shoes, well when my task was over I opened the door with the auto opener and rolled about mid-way through the door. A woman was trying to enter upon seeing me she hollered oh my god I was going in the men's restroom and on that she swing around and entered the "real" men's room. I broke up -- from a distance I watched until she exited the men's room and I swear she was now ashen in color.

I am waiting for transgender women to want to play sports and use males locker rooms. Now that is going to be a hoot to watch.

"We did not previously understand the magnitude of our decision and could not foresee the large population of guests (they really mean paying customers.) that could potentially be placed in an uncomfortable position by the policy." 

  It occurs to me that Target may need to reevaluate the members of their decision making board.

O.K. guys.  Thanks for letting me know.

We constantly seem to be listening to a very small segment of the population who appears to control 80% of what the media considers as "News Alert".

If there are no bathrooms around one uses the bush. I've just heard they are doing it in the streets of San Francisco recently. Looks like San Fran is beginning to look like a 3RD World Country. Just squat and go on about your daily business. I have no doubt all those illegals crossing the Southern Border are not looking for a neutral gender bathroom.  

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