With many in the country conflicted over a transgender person’s right to use the bathroom most in accordance with their gender identity, conservative groups like the American Family Association (AFA) have issued a call to boycott any retailer that adopts trans-friendly policies. But Target, the latest subject of the AFA’s boycott, has denounced their tactics and reaffirmed that Target will allow trans men and women to use only those bathrooms that they deem appropriate, reports the Watertown Daily Times.
On April 19, Target, which ranks third behind only Walmart and Costco in annual sales for a bricks and mortar retail operation, issued a statement which unequivocally condemns any efforts to make their guests feel less than:
“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.”
But, while the number of AFA members who have agreed to boycott the retailer has grown to 1.15 million by some reports, the archconservative lobbying group has announced they will now begin sending men into Target women’s rooms, too.
Sandy Rios, the director of government affairs for the AFA, revealed her group’s agenda on a radio interview with Breitbart News Daily on Monday.
“The group’s [are] concerned that women and children could be victimized by men who enter female restrooms while falsely claiming to be transgender. The chief concern, even more than just, I think, trauma, certainly for little girls of having men dressed like women coming in their bathrooms, the chief concern of the American Family Association is the predators who will take advantage,” she said.
“I think there’s no question when you say that there are no barriers in the bathroom,” Rios said of the Target stores. “The net effect will be that people will not be stopped. We’ve already had people testing this, going into Targets and men trying to go into bathrooms. There is absolutely no barrier.”
As for the boycott’s potential fallout? Melissa Arnoff, the senior vice president at crisis communications firm Levick told USA Today that she didn’t think the boycott will hurt Target in the long run. In fact, it could actually help the brand as it upholds its self-curated identity.
“I don’t think they stand to lose much at all,” Arnoff said. “This isn’t unusual for them. It’s actually very true to who they say they are as a brand. I think the people who shop there loyally know that.”