A boycott of US supermarket chain Target for its ‘gender-free’ bathroom policy has now been backed by over 1.5 million people.
In April 2016, Target published a post on its website welcoming customers to use bathrooms and changing rooms based on the gender of their choosing.
Since the implementation of the policy, numerous customers have reported incidents of sexual offences to the police.
One woman spoke to a news channel in Tennessee about an incident where a man was taking pictures of her whilst she was in the changing rooms.
She said: “It’s dehumanizing in a sense that someone feels they can come into my dressing room and take something that doesn’t belong to them. It’s a violating and humiliating feeling.”
President of think-tank Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, highlighted an incident at a store in Illinois where a girl “told authorities she was in the changing room when she saw a cell phone under her door filming.”
He also drew attention to an incident that took place in Delaware, where “a man committed what police called ‘lewd acts’ in front of female customers”.
In response to Target’s change of policy, a petition was started by the American Family Association (AFA).
AFA President Tim Wildmon said: “Since the boycott started, Target’s stock has lost 35% of its value, and shuttered plans for major expansion projects.
“Together we are making an unprecedented financial impact on a corporation whose policy is to allow men to use women’s restrooms and dressing rooms.”
He concluded: “Target’s decision is unacceptable for families, and their dangerous and misguided policy continues to put women and children in harm’s way.”
The Wall Street Journal has reported that sales at Target have fallen each quarter since it made its announcement.