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Target's LGBT-friendly bathroom policy: Christian group urges consumers to boycott store

((Photo: Reuters/Kevin LaMarque))A Target employee returns carts to the store in Falls Church, Virginia May 14, 2012.

A Christian group is encouraging people to boycott retail giant Target for its LGBT-friendly restroom/fitting room policy.

"The American Family Association is calling for a boycott of Target after the retail giant said it would allow men to use the women's restrooms and dressing rooms in their stores," the fundamentalist non-profit Christian organization says in its website.

The policy was announced by Target on April 19, saying that the company continues to stand for inclusivity and for "equality and equity."

"Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination," reads their official statement.

The Christian group, however, is firm in their belief that allowing men to enter and frequent women's facilities endangers women and children, and they deem that many would agree to boycott the store until it prioritizes the protection of women and children. Thus far, the pledge has garnered more than 650,000 signatures.

"Target's policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims," the group says. "And with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?"

The Christian Post op-ed contributor Carmen Fowler Laberge, however, thinks that "the boycott war is neither persuasive nor effective." She suggests that rather than boycotting, Target ought to be given an opportunity to provide specific plans ensuring that the women and girls in their stores are safe -- given the probable risk of their policy -- while still accommodating the needs of transgender people.

The AFA did pose a solution for Target to consider: a unisex bathroom. They are suggesting that the reasonable answer to this issue would be to keep men's and women's facilties separate, but another one for single occupancy can be put up for use of those belonging to LGBT community or for those who wish to not be in the company of others.

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