American Family Association Open Letter to Target CEO Brian Cornell: #BoycottTarget Continues Until Bathroom Policy Reversed
TUPELO, Miss.— The financial world was buzzing last week when Target released it second-quarter earnings report, with some key takeaways, according to Market Watch:
- Target (TGT), stock dropped dramatically in premarket trading on Wednesday
- For the quarter that ended July 30, earnings fell to $680 million, or $1.16 a share, from $753 million, or $1.18 a share, in the same period a year ago
- Revenue fell 7.2% to $16.17 billion
- Same-store sales declined 1.1%
American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) says the earnings report proves that its immensely successful #BoycottTarget initiative, which encourages shoppers to protest the retailer’s dangerous restroom and fitting room policy with their wallets, is making impact.
Since the boycott began in April, about 1.4 million concerned shoppers have signed the #BoycottTarget pledge. All along, AFA has maintained that the boycott does not come as a result of any threat the transgender community may pose, but rather, because the misguided and reckless Target policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are on the lookout for victims.
Target’s announcement that it is installing unisex bathrooms, AFA adds, does nothing to address the objections of those who have signed the boycott. While AFA did suggest single-occupancy, unisex bathrooms as a way to help the retailer’s transgender customers, the major concern was that Target’s policy would grant voyeurs and sexual predators easier access to their victims by allowing men in women’s restrooms and changing areas, which still endangers women and girls.
AFA sent an open letter to Brian Cornell, CEO of Target. The letter appears below and has also been published this afternoon by Todd Starnes on FoxNews.com:
August 22, 2016
Brian Cornell, CEO
1000 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Dear Mr. Cornell,
As you are aware, the American Family Association initiated a boycott of Target on April 21, two days after your corporation publicized your store policy that would allow men access to women’s restrooms and changing areas. The boycott petition has garnered over 1.4 million signatures as of August 22.
Target has publicized its intent to install single-occupancy, unisex bathrooms – and that is fine. In fact, our initial announcement of the boycott suggested such additions as a way to help the retailer’s transgender customers. Moreover, we do not feel that the transgender community poses a threat to other shoppers.
However, our major concern was that Target’s policy would grant voyeurs and sexual predators easier access to their victims by allowing men in women’s restrooms and changing areas, which puts women and girls in danger.
Recent incidents in places like Bedford and Revere, Massachusetts; Ammon, Idaho; and Frisco, Texas have borne this out.
Unisex bathrooms are fine, but our request has always been that Target maintain the gender-specific bathrooms as well – if the company is interested in guaranteeing the safety and privacy of women and girls who patronize the retailer’s stores.
AFA’s boycott will remain in place until Target agrees that protecting the safety and privacy of women and children is of paramount concern. To demonstrate that commitment, we ask that you reverse your current bathroom and fitting room policy.
Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association
This letter come on the heels of last night’s ruling by a federal judge in Fort Worth, Texas, who has temporarily blocked the Obama administration’s guidelines directing the nation’s public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and other facilities that align with their gender identity. AFA states this is further proof that popularity is waning for leaving bathroom use open to sexual predators and those who would take advantage of these types of bathroom and locker room policies, endangering women and children.
Since #BoycottTarget began in April, AFA has shared multiple examples of why Target’s policy is dangerous through Action Alerts to its one million-plus friends and supporters. Visit AFA’s Target page for examples of these frightening incidents.
In May, AFA hand-delivered one million petition signatures to Target headquarters in Minneapolis, after which AFA leadership briefly met with Target senior management about the bathroom policy. Target executives reported that the company would not change the policy but would install private-stall family restrooms in stores not already equipped with them.
Then in June, AFA Public Policy Analyst Abraham Hamilton III attended Target’s annual shareholder meeting, when he briefly met with Target leaders and expressed AFA’s deep concerns about the chain’s dangerous bathroom and fitting room policy.
AFA continues to ask shoppers to take action in several ways:
- Sign the #BoycottTarget pledge. Encourage family and friends to sign the pledge, too.
- Print AFA’s “pass-along sheet” to share with family, friends, neighbors and others.
- Share the boycott information on social media and be sure to use #BoycottTarget.
- Voice concerns on Target’s Facebook page.
- Visit afa.net/target for more tools and information on the #BoycottTarget initiative.