Last month, when the retail giant Target decided to take a brave stand for inclusivity by saying it welcomed LGBT customers to use whatever restroom they felt most comfortable in while shopping there, it was a major step forward for full rights for all in this country. At the time, Target issued a statement saying:
‘We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity. Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.’
Target also noted that they felt compelled to make such a move in light of the recent discriminatory legislation passed in states such as Mississippi and North Carolina, which seeks to exclude people from using public bathrooms unless they can prove what sex they were born as. The company’s statement made reference to those laws:
‘Given the specific questions these legislative proposals raised about how we manage our fitting rooms and restrooms, we felt it was important to state our position.’
By and large, the reaction to Target’s new policy has been overwhelmingly positive, because most people in this country couldn’t care less who uses what restroom, realizing it has no impact on them. But among the extremists on the Christian Right in the United States, Target’s new open bathroom policy was a declaration of cultural warfare.
A member of one of these groups, which goes by the name of The Portland Street Preachers, recently walked into a Target in Oregon and made this announcement as he marched down the aisles:
‘Target, this is your wake-up call! The Bible says that from the beginning, God made the male and female. He didn’t make transvestites.
‘He made them male and female. Jesus said, ‘He that justify the wicked, and condemneth the just, both are an abomination, both are an abomination!’
‘Target, this is your warning, you will be judged according to God’s standards, not man’s, but God’s. The Bible says to fear God. The Bible says, ‘Choose this day, whom you will serve! Choose this day, whom you will serve!’
‘You need to repent, or you’re going to see the lake of fire on Judgment Day. You will see the lake of fire on Judgment Day. You will be judged. And if there’s Christians in here supporting this abomination, shame on you! Shame on you!
‘Jesus said, ‘Choose this day, whom you will serve!’ But you justify this place, you have to stand by the bathrooms because perverts can go in there, because transvestites allowed!’
The man was escorted out of the store by employees, but this is far from the only instance of Christian fundamentalists creating chaos in Target stores:
- In Tennessee, a protester screamed, “Wicked! Wicked! Wicked! It’s time to repent, it’s time to get right with God … It’s time to get rid of the rainbow, the rainbow belongs to God, not just you. It’s time for you to repent! It’s time for you to repent!”
- Also in Tennessee, a protester walked through a Target store and shouted, “Jesus Christ is going to come back. He going to destroy! He going to destroy! I’d be ashamed to work in this store. There’s gotta be an honest living, an honest living that you can make!”
Which raises the question: If you’re so opposed to Target’s open bathroom policy, why not just refuse to shop there and not darken the door of their stores? Is it really necessary to impose your bigoted views on others?
Here’s the protester in Oregon doing his ranting:
Featured Image Via YouTube Screengrab