Following the announcement that store chain Target would allow people to use the bathrooms and changing rooms of the gender that they identify with, therefore allowing trans inclusion, the fundamentalist christian activist group American Family Association has started a petition to boycott the retailer that has already reached more than half a million signatures.
The American Family Association uses fundamentalist christian teachings in order to promote hatred towards the LGBT+ community, as well as other religions and religious groups. In the past they have attempted similar boycotts against companies such as Hallmark Cards, Burger King, Disney and Universal Studios (to name just a few) for 'promoting christian controversies, pornography, support of pro-choice activism, support of violence, support of LGBT rights and including same sex partner benefits'.
The American Family Association is also responsible for the creation of the groups One Million Moms and One Million Dads, two groups that have repeatedly targeted individuals and companies in harassment campaigns for LGBT+ inclusion.
In their latest protest around Target the American Family Association launched an online petition that outlined their fears on the matter as such;
'The American Family Association is calling for a boycott on Target after the retail giant said it would allow men to use women's restrooms and dressing rooms in their store.
'On it's website this week, Target announced, 'We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds to their gender identity...everyone deserves to feel like they belong.'
'This means a man can simply say he 'feels like a woman today' to enter the women's restroom...even if young girls or women are already in there.
'Target's policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims. And with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?
'Clearly, Target's dangerous new policy poses a danger to wives and daughters. We think many customers will agree. And we think the average Target customer is willing to pledge to boycott Target stores until it makes protecting women and children a priority.
'One solution is a common sense approach and a reasonable solution to the issue of transgender customers: a unisex bathroom. Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option provided.'
The petition then goes on to list several cases of 'proof' that transgender people will sexually assault people if given access to bathrooms and changing rooms, with the articles being designed purely to incite fear and hatred towards trans people with no real basis in reality.
As of the time of the writing of this article the boycott has so far received 653,801 signatures.
Despite the fact that so many individuals have signed to say that they will no longer be shopping with Target, Target have refused to reverse their stance or give in to threats on the issue. Target spokesperson Molly Snyder has released a statement on the subject.
'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.'
Target also added that hundreds of Target stores already have 'single stall family restrooms for those who may be more comfortable with that option' for those who are protesting the inclusion of transgender people.
Whilst the American Family Association relies on fear, hatred and misinformation to push a radical religious view on other people, in a way that is akin to the terrorist actions of groups such as ISIS, Target has remained steadfast in their stance and have refused to reverse their stance.