ANKENY, Iowa -- Target says its new transgender policy for restrooms and fitting rooms promotes acceptance and inclusivity. The move resulted in a backlash against the store and some shoppers claim it’s having the opposite effect.
“I just don't agree with it. Period,” said Dan Wagner, of Ankeny.
Up until this week, Wagner was a card-carrying Target customer. He turned in his credit card and canceled his account to boycott the retail giant. The Air Force veteran says men don’t belong in women’s restrooms.
“What are we coming to when we allow a man to go into woman's bathrooms? What's going to happen when a little kid is kidnapped or killed,” said Wagner.
Target responded to the bathroom backlash by issuing a statement that reads in part:
“We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room that corresponds with their gender identity. Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you'll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.”
Some shoppers, like Tracy Hostetter, plan to stay loyal to the store.
“If you identify as a woman, then you should go into the woman's restroom,” said the mother of three. “Someone who is transgendered, you might not even realize it. They might be in the bathroom with you already or they were last week or last year and you didn't even notice."
The Target in Ankeny is one of many stores that has single stall, family restrooms for anyone who's uncomfortable with the transgender bathrooms or needs more privacy.
A national petition has received more than 750,000 signatures and counting. The Family Leader is not participating in the petition or boycott of Target but says, "the issue goes beyond political correctness to jeopardizing the security of our loved ones."
One Iowa commended Target's policy. The group says Iowa law has ensured transgender people can use public facilities that best fit their gender identity since 2007. They hope many other businesses follow suit.