An online petition sponsored by the American Family Association to boycott Target continues to attract signatures.
The petition, which launched on April 20 in response to Target’s statement that transgender individuals can use the bathroom and fitting room that corresponds with their gender identities, has surpassed a million signatures. As of Tuesday morning, it had more than 1,155,000 signatures.
“We believe that everyone — every team member, every guest, and every community — deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally,” Target’s statement read. “Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination.”
In the clip below, Sandy Rios, director of government affairs for the American Family Association, tells Breitbart Daily news: “I think there’s no question that when you say that there are no barriers in the bathroom and that if men or women feel like they are men or women, the [opposite] of however they are equipped, and you have no restrictions, the net effect will be that people will not be stopped. We’ve already had people testing this, going into Targets and men trying to go into bathrooms. There is absolutely no barrier.”
While there is no evidence of American Family Association-affiliated men entering women’s restrooms in Target, YouTube has filled with videos of men going into Targets and protesting the policy.
The boycott has affected Target, USA Today reported. Before the statement about use of its bathrooms, 42 percent of people said they would consider the retail giant, according to data compiled by YouGov BrandIndex, a research company focused on brand perception. After it released the statement, that number dropped to 38 percent, a shift YouGov chief executive Ted Marzilli called “significant.”
One Target employee, who wished to remain anonymous, told WFTS in Tampa Bay that he’s worried about the boycott’s potential effects on the company’s staff.
“I’m worried that it will cost jobs. I’m wondering if they care about families or they care about families of team members that lose their jobs,” he said.
Melissa Arnoff, on the other hand, doesn’t see cause for worry. The senior vice president at crisis communications firm Levick told USA Today that she didn’t think the boycott will hurt Target in the long run. In fact, it could actually help the brand as it upholds its self-curated identity.
“I don’t think they stand to lose much at all,” Arnoff said. “This isn’t unusual for them. It’s actually very true to who they say they are as a brand. I think the people who shop there loyally know that.”
Editor’s note: The original headline on this story said that AFA “claims to be sending men into women’s restrooms.” The organization says it is not making such a claim and is not sending men into women’s restrooms.