Retail giant Target took a stand on transgender issues this week, welcoming transgender customers into the restrooms and fitting rooms that align with their gender identity.
The Minneapolis-based retailer released a statement on the issue Tuesday as debates about public restroom use continue nationwide, the Star Tribune reported
“Inclusivity is a core belief at Target. It’s something we celebrate,” the statement reads
. “We stand for equality and equity, and strive to make our guests and team members feel accepted, respected and welcomed in our stores and workplaces every day . . . we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”
Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder told the Star Tribune that the statement wasn’t a new policy but an overt declaration of an existing policy.
North Carolina recently enacted a controversial law requiring transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding to the biological gender on their birth certificate, and some states, including Minnesota, are considering similar legislation.
North Carolina’s law has drawn criticism, including a call for its repeal signed by more than 100 large companies. Likewise, entertainers including Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen have canceled concerts in protest of the law.
“Target being more proactive about it could very well open — or force — the dialogue,” retail consultant Carol Spieckerman told the Star Tribune. “Any time a retailer takes a more vocal stance, the microphone goes in front of all of the others.”
While some customers have promised to boycott the store in response, Target’s statement may prove to be a good business decision, CBS News noted
, adding that “Indiana lost as much as $60 million in revenue following its ‘religious freedom law,’ which permits discrimination against gay people, after conventions and events relocated elsewhere.”
The American Family Association launched
a pledge drive urging people to boycott Target. The petition had 160,000 signatures as of Friday morning.
Twitter users shared passionate responses.
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