Customer boycott takes aim at Target's bathroom policy

Posted April 26

Hundreds of thousands of Target customers have pledged to boycott the retailer after it announced that it would allow employees and shoppers to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity.

The American Family Association posted the pledge on its website last week, and as of Tuesday morning it had been signed more than 665,000 times.

"Target's policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims," AFA officials wrote on their site. "And with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?"

In response to the pledge, Target says it will stand by its policy. House Bill 2 Complete coverage: House Bill 2

"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," the company said in a statement.

The debate over bathroom policy continues to rage in both North Carolina and around the country. More than 50 protesters voicing their opposition to the state's House Bill 2 were arrested Monday evening during the first day of the General Assembly's session.

The law, which was signed by Gov. Pat McCrory last month, prevents discrimination protections from being extended to gay and transgender people and prohibits transgender people from using the public bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.

The law also bars cities from setting their own minimum wage and prevents workers from suing in state court for job discrimination.

N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore said Monday that the General Assembly won't repeal House Bill 2 "based on circumstances right now," and he wouldn't say whether a bill filed to repeal the measure would get a hearing.

President Barack Obama on Friday joined the growing chorus of voices calling on North Carolina legislators to overturn the law

"It's very important for us not to send signals that anyone is treated differently," Obama said during a news conference in London.

Presidential candidates have also waded into the debate. Republican front-runner Donald Trump said last week that North Carolina shouldn't have passed the law.

"There have been very few complaints the way it is," Trump said on the TODAY Show on WRAL-TV. "People go, they use the bathroom they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble."

Trump's leading rival, Ted Cruz, said he supports the law, calling it "common sense" legislation.


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  • Jimmy Ray Apr 26, 5:39 p.m.
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    No more Target for my family.

  • Amanda Townsend Apr 26, 5:16 p.m.
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    [quote[quote=15665291]Post by Susan Eaton[/quote]]Post by Dusty Bottems[/quote]
    Actually, I am not boycotting Target and I disagree with both HB2 and the Charlotte law. However, I see boycotting Target as different. A consumer chooses where to spend his or her money. They can make an active decision to not spend that money at any particular store. A consumer is not providing a service by shopping or not shopping at Target. An entertainer, a a lawyer, a doctor, etc - provide services. Refusing to provide services is different than refusing to purchase services or goods. I don't think either is bullying, but I do think the latter is punitive.

  • Susan Eaton Apr 26, 4:46 p.m.
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    For a brief moment, I actually thought you were not filled with the usual hyperbole and proclivities to gross exaggeration. And then you exaggerate that everyone who does not support HB2 is the "LGBT crowd" as if this is a homogenous group thus "labelling" an entire group with derogatory intent then turn around and suggest that only the group you have labelled engages in the practice of name calling with derogatory intent, all in the same sentence. What's the point of trying to have a dialogue about a flawed bill enacted via a flawed process where no total number of wrong-headed actions whether in Charlotte or the legislature makes HB2 okay if the goal is to ultimately sneak in your own variation of name calling?

  • Steve Clark Apr 26, 3:27 p.m.
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    John, isn't Target a public company? Not trying to be 'nit-picky'.. just saying.. Target has an obligation to shareholders.. I wonder if they asked for any input before making their own 'law'.

    Also, I think "protesting" by not playing a show, and "protesting" by not shopping at Target are pretty similar.

    I think publicly LABELING anyone that disagrees with you a 'bigot' is Bullying. Picketing a store that doesn't agree with you, and photographing and calling all of the stores customers 'bigot' .. is bullying.

    Conservatives haven't done that. Only the LGBT crowd implores those tactics. It really is bullying.

  • Steve Clark Apr 26, 3:16 p.m.
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    Good post Sam, except "similar" is not the Same. Charlotte law had NONE of the 'definitions' that Mass had.

    Also, your link is obviously quite a one-sided opinion; especially since it talks about the lack of "incidents" reported since the law, but doesn't cite the number of women that 'felt umcomfortable' with a man changing in their locker room ... but cites the number of TG's that 'felt' discriminated against before it. Also, the Charlotte law didn't ONLY apply to TG's, it was the L,G, and B too... so.. Bi-sexual men, that felt more comfortable showering in the girls locker room, had the legal right to do so.

    Were there any "Incidents" before the law?... I think we both know.. the answer is no.

    This is purely political. "Condone our lifestyle choice, or we will get the national media to paint you as a bigot, and if they don't, then we will paint them as a bigot' It's nothing more than bullying.

  • John Townsend Apr 26, 3:15 p.m.
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    I don't disagree with what you are saying. Both your points are valid, on the one hand, a creep could take advantage of a Charlotte style rule and enter a women's locker/bath room to either look or to legally expose themselves. On the other hand, there hasn't been a "rash" of such happenings but it did happen recently in Seattle so it isn't unheard of.
    The problem with the Charlotte rule was that it imposed it's rule on everyone without any real definition of what it means to identify as a female which means anyone can make such a claim, you don't even have to dress feminine. What Target has done is fine because Target is a private entity and Target gets to define what it means to be a female for bathroom purposes and eject anyone that it doesn't feel meets the criteria in good faith.

  • Dusty Bottems Apr 26, 3:07 p.m.
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    agreed, not the same thing. pearl jam canceling couple days before disappointed lots of people. i think i read that they apologized and said they didn't want to cancel but felt strongly against hb2 and discrimination (not making excuses for pj, not saying you agree with discrimination).

    the point is berger, moore, mccrory saying pearl jam's canceling their concerts, paypal and deutsche bank withdrawing the addition of new jobs amounted to 'bullying'. if bullying is a protest against practices in place, then boycotting target is also 'bullying'.

    i don't think boycotting target amounts to bullying. i certainly dont think pearl jam canceling a concert is bullying, nor paypal/deutsche pulling jobs as bullying.

  • Steve Clark Apr 26, 2:55 p.m.
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    I agree with you Susan. I simply ask... which person with a penis is allowed to shower in the girls locker room and which one isn't? NO ONE (that's reasonable) is saying that a law will prevent attacks. Also, NO ONE is able to point to a huge rash of crimes against TG's Before Charlotte decided to pass a law that did NOT define who the law applied to, and did NOT explain how the New Law would be enforced.

    HB2 was bad... but it was a (TERRIBLE) response to Charlotte.

  • Steve Clark Apr 26, 2:48 p.m.
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    Johnny, I agree with you.. but I'm talking about the original Charlotte ordinance. Charlotte passed a law that didn't define WHO the law actually applied to, how the average person would even know, and How that new Charlotte law should be enforced.

    It was a Bad law, and should have been repealed... HB2 did a Terrible job of that, and lumped too much in with it... but please remember, HB2 wasn't an organic law, it was a direct response to Charlotte's poorly written, unenforceable, and honestly Needless ordinance.

  • Steve Clark Apr 26, 2:45 p.m.
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    Melvin... would you care to investigate the number of sexual crimes committed by Priests and compare them to teachers? Are we not supposed to send our kids to school?

    Again, we're NOT talking about legit TG's in a bathroom. We're talking about Straight hetero men, being Legally allowed to shower in the girls locker room (which the Charlotte law allowed).

    I want TG people to feel safe and accepted. Will you please help me understand which 'born male with male parts' is allowed to shower in the girls locker room, and which one isn't?