A little over a week ago, Target jumped into the national debate over transgender right with the announcement of its new bathroom policy: that going forward it will allow transgender visitors to use whichever bathroom or fitting room they think best matches their gender identity.
On its website, the firm noted:
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.
As it turns out, not everyone likes inclusivity quite so much as Target professes to, as the retailer now finds itself on the receiving end of a boycott from The American Family Association.
The announcement has completely overtaken Target’s Facebook page. A post about a coconut shrimp soup recipe yielded responses such as:
“Simply incredible that we women have NO say in who enters our restrooms while we are doing our business.”
“I love Target and I fully enjoy working for a company that supports Equality and doesn’t discriminate.”
This carries on all down the page on posts about the Marimekko pair-up, children’s toys and a coupon announcement. No matter what Target has posted for the last week, this is what at least a few thousand people will respond to.
As for the boycott, according to some reports, over 340,000 have signed a petition threatening to stop going to Target if the tolerance policy is not replaced immediately — though how many of those “signatures” have been verified or how many of those folks area really willing to give up Target as a form of protest remains to be seen.