It's happened again: a man has taken advantage of a major retailer's policy on bathroom and changing room use that a pro-family group argues threatens the safety of women and children.
In April 2016, Target announced it would allow transgender customers and employees to use the bathroom and/or changing room of the gender in which they say they identify. While Target said the policy is meant to be inclusive, the American Family Association warns sexual predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy, putting women and children at risk.
To date, there have been many news and police reports in different parts of the country – most recently in Michigan, where Fox2Detroit.com says a man took pictures this month of women in a Sterling Heights Target changing room. What's worse? Fox2Detroit.com says the same man was accused of doing the same thing earlier that day at a Target store in nearby Auburn Hills, Michigan.
"It's very creepy," said a female shopper to FOX2Detroit.com.
"It makes you nervous to go in there because you don't know what people are going to do," added another shopper.
Walker Wildmon with the American Family Association says there's not much a Target employee can do to stop such things from happening.
"The employees who are following Target's policy are not allowed to question a male who, for example, walks into a female restroom or changing area and vice versa, because Target's policy states essentially that men and women can use each other's restrooms and changing areas under a – quote – 'transgender bathroom policy,'" explains Wildmon.
So according to Target's own policy, Wildmon says, their employees are "handcuffed," metaphorically speaking, from checking why a man is entering a female's changing area.
"The American Family Association is still encouraging our supporters and those in the public to not go to Target, to boycott Target, and find somewhere else to shop," he adds.
The unidentified suspect in the Sterling Heights Target incident later turned himself into police.
Target did not respond to OneNewsNow's request for comment.
UPDATE: Late Friday, an official with Target's communications office responded as follows: "As soon as we were made aware of the situation, we called local law enforcement. They are investigating the situation and we’ve provided them with security video and photos to aid in the investigation. We appreciate the support of the Auburn Hills and Sterling Heights police departments as they investigate this issue."
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.
7/2/2018 - Update from Target added.