On April 19th, retailer Target released a blog post conveying their support for the Federal Equality Act and a statement saying they support transgender customers, along with team members, using the bathrooms that coincide with their gender identity within its stores. Here is an excerpt from their statement:
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.
In response to Target’s inclusive support, The American Family Association, an Anti LGBT Conservative Christian group, started a petition to boycott the retail giant. As of this writing, their petition has received over 600,000 signatures. “This is the best response we’ve ever had this quick,” AFA President Tim Wildmon said. “Everybody knows who Target is, and it’s an easy-to-understand issue.”
“As a company that firmly stands behind what it means to offer our team an inclusive place to work — and our guests an inclusive place to shop — we continue to believe that this is the right thing for Target,”
Target has still been unwavering in their support for the LGBT community. We certainly respect that there are a wide variety of perspectives and opinions,” said a Target spokeswoman in response to the petition. “As a company that firmly stands behind what it means to offer our team an inclusive place to work — and our guests an inclusive place to shop — we continue to believe that this is the right thing for Target,” She said of Target’s recent backing of transgender rights. “Target stores have single-stall, family restrooms for those who may be more comfortable with that option.”
The American Family Asssociation was founded in 1977 as the National Federation for Decency. They were founded by Donald E. Wildmon, a United Methodist Pastor. They are now led by his son Tim Wildmon. The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Human Rights Campaign both label Wildmon’s organization as a Christian Right propaganda hate group. They own over 200 radio stations and have a network of over 2,000,000 online supporters which help them raise over $20,000,000 annually.
This isn’t the first time the group has issued a boycott against Target. They have also boycotted other major companies such as 7-Eleven, Sears, American Airlines, Burger King, Comcast, Ford, Hardee’s, Kmart, Kraft Foods, MTV, Paramount Pictures, Pampers, Procter & Gamble, DreamWorks, Old Navy, IKEA, Disney and Pepsi to name a few.
I commend Target for taking a stance on human rights. This American Families Association group is a bit ridiculous however. Congratulations to them for getting a quarter of their two million supporters to sign a pledge. I love this guys quote, “it’s an easy-to-understand issue.” Well yeah I guess, if you actually understand the issue. Clearly they do not. I originally thought of creating a petition to show our unwavering support for Target’s stance, as I know we would do much better. To be honest that would be just as ridiculous as what they are doing. Having this group go against you is a badge of honor if you care about actual human beings. Instead I am going to make sure I shop at Target and maybe use the restroom. That is the best thing we could do here. They also noted they have family bathrooms which the bigots are more than free to use if they have such a big problem with transgender people. Thank you Target for accepting everyone. You’ve earned my business.