Sheesh! I take a couple of weeks off and suddenly there’s another Target boycott. Only this time it isn’t an LGBT boycott of the retailer over the company’s habit of endorsing anti-LGBT political candidates, it’s a group of bigots and haters and transphobic asshats boycotting the store over Target’s transgender bathroom policy.
The American Family Association [AFA], a conservative so-called “Christian” activist group says it has gathered more than a million signatures from people pledging to boycott Target because the company refuses to give in to hate and fear. The AFA says Target’s bathroom policy encourages sexual predators and puts women and young girls in danger because "a man can simply say he 'feels like a woman today' and enter the women's restroom."
Except then the man is not transgender, he’s a sexual predator — and quite likely a Christian like Josh Duggar, or a conservative like Dennis Hastert, or a Republican like Larry Craig — so go after the predator not the trans woman who just wants to pee.
AFA President Tim Wildmon says the viral nature of the protest — and those “millions” of signatures … much like One Million Moms actual number being about seventy thousand — is because “everybody knows who Target is, and it’s an easy-to-understand issue." Wildmon says Target stands "to lose a lot of customers who won't come back."
Yeah, except Target isn’t budging:
"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 spokeswoman Molly Snyder
She also added that hundreds of Target stores "have single-stall, family restrooms for those who may be more comfortable with that option."
This whole bathroom kerfuffle came to light in a Target blog post last week when the company stated that it welcomes “transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity." Sounds quite simple, but then folks, like the AFA and governors in a few states, decide to use fear as a weapon against something they do not understand, so, again, I’ll put it as simply as I can:
A trans female is not a “Man in a dress;” a trans female is a female and simply wants to walk into the women’s restroom, enter a stall, shut the door, do her business, and get out. That’s it.
Now, about that idea that a million people have signed the AFA petition … yeah, not so much; from what we hear, because the AFA doesn’t verify, or prove, the number, they are simply using this story as a means to get press and publicity and money for their Hate Agenda. And, to do that, the AFA listed several scary stories on their website — including one about a non-transgender man who had been arrested for illegally filming women in restrooms — to shore up their warped opinion. However, there is one list you won’t see on the AFA site: the names of those ALLEGED one million people who signed the Hate Petition.
So, to prove the AFA is lying, the good folks at ThinkProgress successfully “signed” the petition three different times from the same web browser using the names “I disagree With this,” “I really think this is stupid,” and “This isn’t A real email.” All that the AFA petition required was using a different email address each time, though, as the last name suggests, it was possible to sign the pledge using a non-existent email address.
Still, this petition, or pledge to boycott Target as the AFA calls it, is having an impact. Last week, the city of Oxford, Alabama passed a law banning transgender people from using public restrooms, and anti-LGBT conservatives in Texas, like Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and state Representative Matt Shaheen—both Republicans, of course—have stated their intention to boycott Target; Shaheen even said he would help Target pack up its stores, vow to “die on this issue politically. I am going to bat for my wife and my daughters.”
In response to the wingnuts, the “Christians,” the Republicans using fear as a weapon, MoveOn has launched a #StandWithTarget petition to counter the AFA pledge:
“I pledge to support Target and any other business that stands up for transgender rights and accommodates transgender people in their restroom use.”
You can sign HERE. When I signed there were over a hundred thousand real names on the list.
Stand with Target, and stand with and for our trans brothers and sisters.