Washington D.C., Aug 19, 2016 / 03:57 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Amid continuing dispute over its transgender bathroom policy, the retail giant Target has denied that the controversy is linked to its decline in sales and says it will not change the policy. Instead, it will spend $20 million for single-toilet bathrooms at 300 more stores. These bathrooms are not for individuals whose biological sex and gender identity differ, but instead are for people who are uncomfortable with the thought of using a restroom with a transgender individual.
The store chain in April announced that staff members and customers who identify as transgender may use the restroom or fitting room that corresponds with their self-identified gender, not their biological sex. Critics voiced concern that the policy would allow men to use the women’s bathroom and could pose a risk to women and children. The American Family Association launched a boycott that gathered 1.4 million signatures online.
On Wednesday, Target said it would add single occupancy restrooms to the 300 of its 1,800 stores that currently lack them, CNN Money reports. Walker Wildmon, assistant to the president of the American Family Association, said the addition of private restrooms “doesn't completely answer our concerns.” Boycott leaders want the policy changed.
On Wednesday, the company said its sales were disappointing and lowered forecasts on future sales. Sales have dropped 7 percent in the last year. Wildmon said the American Family Association is “confident that our boycott has played a significant role in Target's financial results that came out today.” Target Chief Financial Officer Cathy Smith said there is no evidence the boycott had significant effect on sales. Target spokeswoman Katie Boylan said the addition of bathrooms is about “inclusion” and wanting “everyone to feel comfortable in our stores.”