A firestorm of controversy is swirling around Target’s recent policy change.
A conservative Christian activist group has gained more than half a million signatures and counting, signed by those who pledge to boycott the retail giant after it announced in a blog post last week that it would allow transgender customers to use whichever restroom fits their gender identity.
The statement spurred outrage on social media throughout the country, as people who said they had safety concerns vowed to stop shopping at Target.
The petition started by American Family Association, claims that Target’s inclusive stance on transgender rights policy is a “danger to wives and daughters,” said Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder, said in a statement “We certainly respect that there are a wide variety of perspectives and opinions. 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 added that hundreds of Target stores “have single-stall, family restrooms for those who may be more comfortable with that option.”
Many have praised Target for its stance through social media support. The announcement comes on the heels of the controversial “bathroom bill” that North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law in late March. Many protested the law, including President Obama, PayPal and several musical artists including Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, Ringo Starr, and Ani DiFranco have cancelled concerts in North Carolina in protest.
There are no reports at this time if Target has seen a decline in sales because of the policy. Is this Target setting a new norm for how retailers approach controversial subjects?