The giant retail conglomerate, Target, announced to their employees (for marketing purposes, Target refers to their employees as “team members”) that the company wants “to be a champion for an inclusive society by using our influence and resources to support equality in the communities where our team members and guests live and work.” They went on say that “Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”
The company appears to be incorporating the “Equality Act of 2015” (“Act”), a bill introduced in 2015 that still has not been passed into law by the House and Senate, into their corporate philosophy. Some states, including Minnesota where Target is headquartered, either have already, or are trying to pass their own version of laws that would prohibit discrimination against “human rights”, an often broadly defined and inclusive term. Essentially, the “Act” would amend the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964 ushered into law with the substantial help of President Lyndon Johnson. Of current significance, the bill has provisions that would outlaw discrimination by sexual orientation, gender identity and sex in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, public educational, federal funding, credit and the jury system.
Target’s position has outraged some of their customers, and the “The American Family Association is calling for a boycott of Target after the retail giant said it would allow men to use the women’s restrooms and dressing rooms in their stores”, according to a recent Blog site. “This means a man can simply say he ‘feels like a woman today’ and enter the women’s restroom…even if young girls or women are already in there. The site argues, “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?” They warned that “Clearly, Target’s dangerous new policy poses a danger to wives and daughters.”
Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz supports these laws too. He echoes what many others have argued: that allowing transgender women to use the women’s bathroom would put “little girls alone in a bathroom with grown men.”
Others have tried to debunk the notion that transgender people– or people pretending to be transgender– are peeping into stalls or present a threat to children. They claim this perceived danger is 100% myth and They give the example of Florida State Representative Frank Artiles (R), who sponsored the Single Sex Public Facilities bill in his state (HB 583); but he “did not provide any evidence that a trans person has ever attacked cisgender (non-transgender) people in public restrooms when pressed by BuzzFeed in February.”
To the best of our knowledge, in areas where transgenders have access to female bathrooms, there have been few, if any, reports of criminal behavior. It would seem that such concerns are based on myths.