Target transgender bathroom policy sparks opposition campaign

Speaking out against Target's policy
Child Protection League Board Chair Julie Quist, left, Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, and Claire Chretien, spokesperson for, speak against Target's new bathroom policy Monday in St. Paul.
Riham Feshir | MPR News

Target's policy allows transgender people to use the restroom and fitting room that corresponds with their gender identity.

"We believe that everyone — every team member, every guest, and every community — deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally," the company said in a statement posted when it launched the policy in April.

A group that calls itself the Child Protection League is joining forces with the national nonprofit Internet service to oppose the policy. They've prepared a billboard truck with their "" campaign to boycott Target stores.

"The Target mixed-bathroom policy is not about solving a problem, it is about taking the wrong side in a massive cultural assault on women and girls," said Julie Quist, board chair of the Child Protection League. "Voyeurism, exhibitionism and stalking are well-known public concerns most commonly directed at women and children."

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An image of a young girl standing in front of a toilet, looking shocked with her jaw dropped, at an older man who's entered the same restroom, is plastered on the truck.

The groups plan to take the truck to every Target store in Minnesota and possibly other states.

Target did not immediately respond to requests for comment in response to the new campaign.

Last month, the American Family Association launched a similar campaign against Target's new policy and called for boycotting Target. An online petition has garnered more than 1.2 million signatures.

The groups argue Target's new policy creates opportunity for harassment. But advocates for gender non-conforming people say they regularly experience serious acts of discrimination themselves.

According to a 2011 National Center for Transgender Equity survey, respondents reported denial of equal treatment or service at public accommodations like hotels, restaurants and retail stores. The survey said the highest rate of mistreatment occurred at retail stores with 32 percent of respondents saying they were denied equal treatment.