The strange circumstances leading Walgreens to announce a new bathroom policy leaves some to believe we are moving down a "slippery slope."
Walgreens is now allowing people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they claim to identify. The nationwide policy took effect in November, and according to the Los Angeles Times, its adoption follows an incident last year in which a biological female – who is not transgender – was told she could not use the women's restroom because she looked like a man.
"I had to go, so I didn't put up much of a fight and used the stall while the men used the urinals next to me," Jessie Meehan wrote in an email to Walgreens. "This in itself was very humiliating for me, and I felt extremely uncomfortable."
The store in question is located on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. Meehan stopped there on her way to an LGBTQ Pride festival.
Two months later, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wrote Walgreens a letter saying California law allows people to use the bathroom of their gender identity.
"The strange circumstances of this, in which a person was barred from the restroom that corresponded with her biological sex because of her gender expression, her appearance, suggests to me that the lines are becoming so blurred that we are moving down a slippery slope towards the point where anyone will simply be able to use any restroom they want, and it will not be contingent on biological sex, or on gender identity, or on appearance," responds Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council (FRC). "People will just be able to use any restroom. That's the only way companies like this can avoid being accused of discrimination in the current climate."
Sprigg adds that the problem with that is the protection for privacy and safety of women that has historically been in place because of the separation of men's and women's facilities will then be completely removed.
"I'm concerned that that is the direction in which our culture is moving," he concludes.
Target Stores, Inc. announced a similar policy two years ago - and according to the American Family Association, "dozens of women and children have been victimized by male predators" inside Target stores.
"Walgreens' new policy could potentially result in female customers becoming victims of voyeurism, sexual assault, and physical attack," AFA says in an Action Alert to its supporters last week. The pro-family group launched an online petition urging Walgreens to reverse the policy - and encouraging the public to contact the company at both local and corporate levels.
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.