Columbus Target implements 'unisex' bathroom policy - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus Target implements 'unisex' bathroom policy

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A new policy at Target stores nationwide has become the center of controversy in the Chattahoochee Valley. 

According to Target's website, any guest or employee, including those who are transgender, will be allowed to use the bathroom or fitting room that corresponds best with their gender identity, rather than the gender they were born.

"I think the bathroom policy is a good step forward for the LGBT community," says Gregory Pitts. 

Comments on social media like "How is Target going to protect young girls and women?" and "If you are born a man then you should use the men's restroom," left some wanting to know what will happen at the Target store in Columbus. 

We spoke to the manager at the Target on Bradley Park Drive, who declined an on camera interview. However, the manager referred us to a Target Associate, who confirmed that the policy is already in effect at the Columbus location. 

"I understand the concerns of the community," said Pitts, while Daisy Smith told us "It's not that big of a deal." 

Under the press release on Target's website, they provide clarification to their policy change:

“We believe that everyone—every team member, every guest, and every community—deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally."  

Margaret Kamperman says it challenges the social norms and "sets a really nice standard for treatment of transgender people in America.” 

"It is never our intention to offend any guest, however we welcome guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity," said a Columbus Target associate.  

Will Target's new policy set a new standard for other businesses?

"I would say to the other businesses we're here, we support you when we go in and spend our money… support us," says Brandy "Breeze" Elam, a Columbus activist for the local LGBT community. "We just want equal rights like everyone else."

According to Target's website this action is consistent with the Federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination.

"I'll be the first to admit, I don't understand transgender but that's not for me to understand just like my parents didn't understand I was gay or people don't understand this person is a lesbian," says Jeremy Hobbs, director of COLGAY Pride. "Different people around the world, we may look the same but we are all different in some way but people have to start respecting people's individuality."

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