MINNEAPOLIS (ChurchMilitant.com) – Target is doubling down on its rule allowing self-described transgendered individuals to use the restroom that corresponds with their “new gender,” despite massive financial losses.
In an interview on CNBC last week, Target CEO Brian Cornell defended the company’s decision to open their restrooms. “We took a stance and we are going to continue to embrace our belief of diversity and inclusion,” he maintained.
Cornell went on to compare last month’s decision and the continuing backlash being received to criticism the retail giant faced in the mid-1960s after using African-American models in their advertising, highlighting what he claims is Target’s “long history of embracing diversity and inclusion.”
“[S]itting here today we know we made the right decision,” he stated.
The decision in question, released as a post on the company website late last month, announced the department store chain would now welcome “transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” This move, according to the post, is done in the spirit of “inclusivity,” which the corporation claims is a “core belief at Target.”
Within a day of the announcement, the American Family Association (AFA) organized an online petition encouraging Target shoppers to “shop elsewhere” until the retail chain “makes the safety of women and children a priority.” Since its launch in late April the boycott has garnered more than 1.2 million signatures.
“Target’s policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims,” the AFA stated. “And with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women’s bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go? Clearly, Target’s new policy poses a danger to wives and daughters.”
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The sentiment is echoed by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in a Facebook post where he asserted the “world has gone mad” and expressed his disgust with policies that fly un the face of “common sense, common decency and safety.”
The store is facing financial repercussions as well. A few days after the decision was made public, the value of Target stock dropped 5 percent in value, a loss estimated to cost shareholders nearly $2.5 billion; since then the numbers have nearly doubled, with a 9-percent loss in stock value, an approximate loss of nearly $4 billion. Research from international market research firm YouGov notes a 4-percent drop in the “percentage of consumers who would consider buying items at Target the next time they want to go shopping at a department store.”
Consumer perception of the Target brand has also hit its lowest point in nearly two years.
Despite news of the financial losses, several other major corporations are following suit and announcing they will allow self-described transgendered individuals to use the restroom of their choosing. Starbucks, Barnes & Noble and Hudson’s Bay Company — parent company of Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue, among others — publicly stated last month employees and customers are free to use whichever bathroom corresponds with their believed gender.
The nationwide transgender debate has recently accelerated over dual lawsuits filed by the Obama administration and North Carolina after the federal government ordered the state to cease enforcing a law requiring individuals to use the restroom of their biological sex or else face funding cuts for education.
Additionally, a mandate was issued Friday by the Obama administration ordering that all public schools allow self-described transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice. This too has faced much criticism, with one Texas school superintendent announcing the order is “going straight to the shredder.”