NEW YORK — Target said Tuesday that transgender customers at its stores are welcome to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, the latest corporate reaction to a wave of legislation seen by critics as anti-LGBT.
“We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity,” the retailer said. “Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.”
State legislatures around the U.S. have in recent months debated proposals that would force individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificate.
The governor of North Carolina signed such a bill in late March. Mississippi has passed a related law that critics say allows discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
In Minnesota, where Target is headquartered, a Republican state senator has proposed a bill that would restrict access to restrooms, locker rooms and dressing rooms based on the “biological sex” of individuals.
Many major corporations are fighting against the “bathroom laws,” saying they discriminate against both employees and customers.
In a statement, Target said that it had considered how the legislation could affect its business, guests and team members.
“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,” the company said.
Reactions to Target’s announcement were mixed.
“That means I won’t be using your bathrooms or dressing rooms in the future,” said one commenter from Indianapolis. “May have to rethink some other things too.”
“Thank you, Target!” said another customer.