Evangelist Franklin Graham, whose daily Facebook posts are read by millions, urged followers Wednesday to join an ongoing boycott against Target protesting the retailer’s policy of allowing men into women’s restrooms.
Graham, who during the 2016 election led prayer rallies in 50 states to seek God’s intervention in the nation’s future, explained why he was promoting the boycott effort by the American Family Association.
“Why is anyone shocked? Target prides itself in its policy that allows biological men to use women’s restrooms. On Sunday in one of their Chicago-area stores, a man entered the ladies restroom and exposed himself to a little girl who was at the store shopping with her mom,” wrote Graham, the CEO of both the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the relief and development organization Samaritan’s Purse.
“Customers interviewed were right – it’s very sad. And it is so preventable. The American Family Association is calling for a boycott of Target stores – you can sign it at www.afa.net/target. Call the Target headquarters at 612-304-6073 and let them know that you think they should change their decision and make their restrooms safe again. And you can voice your concerns on the Target Facebook page.”
More than 1.5 million people have affirmed an AFA pledge to boycott Target, with 1,000 new signatures added within a few minutes Wednesday.
It says: “I pledge to boycott Target stores. Target’s store policy endangers women and children by allowing men to frequent women’s facilities. Until Target makes the safety of women and children a priority, I will shop elsewhere.”
On AFA’s Target-boycott page, people explained why they joined the boycott.
Andrea Hicks Rogers wrote: “I will never shop in target stores and haven’t for years for their open policy of anyone can go into the women’s restrooms. Again, A man exposed himself to a little girl in a Chicago target!! This could be prevented!!! I pray that Target goes under if they don’t change their policy of men being able to go into women’s restrooms!! I’m spreading the word and boycotting Target. Hope others will do the same!!”
Joy Goldberg wrote, “It is madness to sacrifice your fellow man (and kids) to the gods of political ‘correctness’ which is hardly correct.”
And Evelyn Vance told the company: “I don’t think you care about family, especially children and women, by letting men in restrooms and changing areas. I will not s[h]op at any Target store or on line until you change your policy. I am also telling everyone to do the same. Please keep us safe.”
The Chicago Tribune reported police in the city released a warning after a man “exposed himself in front of a child in a women’s restroom in a Target store in the South Loop neighborhood.”
The incident has pushed Target and its bathroom policy into headlines nationwide.
AFA launched its boycott against Target in April 2016.
AFA President Tim Wildmon said his group’s members “are dealing a crippling blow to Target because of their dangerous bathroom policy.”
He said the boycott has caused a “significant drop” in traffic to Target stores.
“Effects of the boycott are clear in Target’s financial report released February 28. The report indicated a dramatic drop in Target’s sales and earnings during October, November, and December. This bad news for Target resulted in the company’s stock value dropping 13 percent on the day of the report,” the AFA report said.
Wildmon said Target, however, “remains willfully blind to the link between the boycott and financial loss, but this blindness should not persist.”
“Investors will hardly allow a politically correct bathroom policy based on a minority opinion to sink Target’s profits further. Target investors must be aware that a strong majority of Americans believe the use of restrooms and dressing rooms should be linked to a person’s biological sex.”
The statement links to headlines such as “Poll: Vast Majority Of Americans Believe Bathrooms Should Be Linked To Biological Sex,” “Target Retailer Hits $15 Billion Loss Since Pro-Transgender Announcement” and “Target Stock Is Even Worse Than Q4 Earnings Suggest.”
Refusing to address the problem, AFA said, will produce more headlines such as “Man wanted for taking photos inside Target changing room” in Dallas, “Convicted Sex Offender Accused of Looking Up Girls’ Skirts in Target” in Oregon, “Man Arrested for Recording Juvenile Girls in Target Store” and “‘Peeping Tom’ records underage girl changing at Frisco Target.”