Despite protests around the country, Target CEO Brian Cornell said on May 11 that the company would not change its controversial gender identity bathroom policy (video below).
Cornell told CNBC’s Squawk Box:
A couple of weeks ago, I had one of our team members send me a note reminding me that if we went back to the mid 60s, our company was one of the very first to use African-American models in their advertising, And back then, no, it wasn’t well received. We had a lot of tough feedback. But sitting here today, we know we made the right decision.
Cornell said that more than 1,400 out of Target's 1,800 stores already have family restrooms, which will be expanded to the rest of the stores over the next few months, notes the Star Tribune.
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Cornell added on CNBC:
But if there is a question of safety, I can tell you and others, our focus on safety is unwavering. And we want to make sure we provide a welcoming environment for all of our guests.
One that is safe, one that is comfortable and that's our commitment over time. So, we took a stance and we’re going to continue to embrace our belief in diversity and inclusion, just how important that is to our company. But we’re also going to make sure our focus on safety is unwavering.
In response to Target's new policy, which was announced on April 19, the Christian-based American Family Association called for a boycott.
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Additionally, the Family Policy Alliance, the political arm of the Christian ministry Focus on the Family, has started an online petition addressed to Cornell:
I'm one of your customers. The announcement that you've changed your bathroom policy concerns me greatly. I'm interested in the safety and privacy of every person who shops in your store, and that includes women and children.
There are legitimate concerns, and more than a few instances, where men have been found in women's facilities thanks to these policies, but those men were there to take photos or videos of women and children.