Missouri Family E-News

August 30, 2016

Target Stores Continue Bathroom Blunders  

The Target Stores retail chain has announced they will spend $20 million to construct lockable single-stall restrooms in each of their stores nationwide.

The announcement follows a corporate decision in April to implement an open bathroom policy in the company's retail stores.  The company issued a statement at the time saying that customers may use whichever restroom they choose.

Target's "progressive" new policy sparked a massive national backlash.  The American Family Association launched a boycott of Target Stores, and to date more than 1.4 million Americans have pledged to no longer shop at Target.

"It's clear that some of our guests like and some dislike our bathroom policy,"says Cathy Smith, chief financial officer for Target.  "Some of our guests clearly are uncomfortable with our policy."

The company's recent performance makes that abundantly clear.  Target's revenues dropped by 7.2 percent during the second quarter, and its stock price fell by 9.7 percent during the same period.

Target's sales during the second quarter were down $1.2 billion compared to the same period in 2015.  Even Fortune magazine attributes the slide in the retailer's earnings to its "transgender-friendly bathroom policy."

At the same time, rival retailer Wal-Mart's sales and earnings have exceeded projections over the last several months, and its share value has seen a significant increase.

Tim Wildmon, President of the American Family Association, says that the boycott will continue.  "Unisex bathrooms are fine, but Target needs to maintain gender-specific bathrooms as well to guarantee the safety and privacy of women and girls who patronize their stores."

"Our major concern remains that Target's policy grants voyeurs and sexual predators easier access to their victims," Wildmon remarked.  "If Target values the safety of families, they must reverse this dangerous policy."

Wildmon's concerns are not unwarranted.  A 46 year-old Idaho man was charged last month with a felony count of voyeurism after an incident at a Target store. 

Police say the man entered the fitting room area and then went into a dressing room.  He then allegedly reached over the wall to the adjacent changing room to take cellphone pictures of a woman who was trying on swimwear.  Most fitting rooms in Target stores are also unisex.

A similar incident occurred at a Target store in Bismarck, North Dakota, where a man positioned his phone under a fitting room door where a 16 year-old girl was trying on clothes. 

In June, a 22 year-old man was arrested in Bedford, New Hampshire, after being charged with filming young girls in the changing areas over the partitions between the dressing rooms.

There are numerous other stories documented on various news outlets of additional episodes of sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and indecent exposure in Target stores.

Target's lame response to these types of incidents is to say that they have "robust procedures, policies, and training in place to ensure that our stores are safe places to shop and work."

We highly doubt that women, children, and mothers who have been victims of voyeurs and sexual offenders in Target stores would agree.

You can join the AFA Target boycott by using this link:
Boycott Target

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 Federal Judge Halts
Obama Administration
Bathroom Mandate

A federal judge has blocked the mandate of the Obama Administration that local public schools must allow students to use the restrooms, locker rooms, and shower rooms of the opposite sex.  U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor issued a preliminary injunction halting enforcement of the bathroom mandate, and applied the scope of the injunction on a nationwide basis.

Judge Reed's injunction was in response to a lawsuit filed by the State of Texas and 13 other states challenging the legality of the bathroom mandate.  Texas Attorney General Kenneth Paxton had argued that the federal edict abolishing bathroom privacy in public schools has no basis in federal law or regulation.

The genesis of the dispute began in May with a bizarre press conference held by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.  She announced that the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department and the Office of Civil Rights were issuing a joint edict regarding access to private facilities in public schools.  Lynch said school administrators must allow any student to access the bathrooms, changing areas, and shower facilities of the opposite sex, or risk the loss of federal education funding.

Lynch brazenly proclaimed that Title IX of the federal Education Amendments of 1972 forbid discrimination based on "gender identity," and that students must be permitted to use private facilities that "align" with their self-professed "gender identity."  Her announcement came on the heels of a similar "guidance" by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission threatening schools with legal action unless they implemented open bathroom policies.  
Lynch decreed that schools cannot adopt "broad generalizations or "stereotypes" regarding a student's "actual gender," or create a "hostile environment" for gender-defiant students.  The net effect of the edict is that boys have free license to invade the privacy of high school, middle school, and elementary school girls while they are using the bathroom, changing clothes, or taking a shower.

Judge O'Connor ruled that Title IX and its regulations contain indisputable language that authorizes schools to segregate private facilities based on a person's biological sex.  He rejected the baseless legal claims of the Obama Administration, saying that the language in the law banning discrimination based on sex has never been interpreted to encompass imaginary gender selection.

"It cannot be disputed that the plain meaning of the term 'sex' as it was enacted following passage of Title IX meant the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth," Judge O'Connor wrote in his opinion.  "The areas identified in the [Title IX] regulations are places where male and female students may have to expose their nude or partially nude body, and other private parts, and separation from members of the opposite sex was needed to ensure personal privacy."

The judge also pointed out that "regulations permitting educational institutions to provide separate housing to male and female students, and separate educational instruction concerning human sexuality" were also designed to protect individual privacy.
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, hailed the judge's action.  "Judge O'Connor's opinion is a win for parental rights and the privacy of schoolchildren nationwide.  These federal agencies are attempting to use the bully pulpit to strip parents and local school districts of the right to provide a safe learning environment for their children."

Perkins added that parents should mobilize in their communities against the bathroom mandate.  "I encourage parents in every school district in America to demand that their local school boards not sacrifice the privacy and safety of their children because of this administration's pursuit of political correctness."

Matt Sharp, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, says that Judge O'Connor's injunction is a welcome curb on federal overreach.  "The Obama Administration cannot unilaterally disregard and redefine federal law to force girls to share locker rooms and showers with boys.  Schools have a duty to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of all students, and this order certainly helps them in fulfilling that duty."

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of a ruling by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia.  In that case, a three-judge panel ruled that Title IX "requires schools to provide 'transgender' access to restrooms congruent with their gender identity," as opposed to what the court described as their "so-called biological sex."

The 4th Circuit case involves a girl from the Gloucester County School District who claims to identity as a male.  She says that she suffers "psychological distress" when she uses the girls' restroom.  Her lawsuit challenges a school district policy that students use the bathroom appropriate to their gender or a single-stall unisex bathroom.

The action by the U.S. Supreme Court delays enforcement of the 4th Circuit decision in that circuit until the Supreme Court has an opportunity to hear or reject a formal appeal of the decision.   The Gloucester County School District is preparing an appeal of the 4th Circuit ruling.


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