A recent viral video showed a woman wielding a Bible overhead and marching through a Target, ringing out her message through the brightly lit aisles. “I’m a mother of 12 and I’m disgusted by this wicked practice,” she cried. “Mothers, get your children out of this store … it’s a dangerous place!”
The woman, who has not been identified, is not the only one incensed by Target’s announcement that it would allow transgender customers to use the restroom that matches their gender identity. More than 700,000 people have pledged to boycott the store. Target’s move, meanwhile, was seen as a response to a new North Carolina law that requires people in government buildings to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificate—in effect forcing post-transition transgender people to use the bathroom of the opposite sex.
The idea that children, especially girls, will somehow be hurt by relieving themselves alongside transgender women has been one of the main arguments of the law’s proponents. In the words of Texas Senator Ted Cruz, “Men should not be going to the bathroom with little girls.”
There’s no evidence that municipalities that have protected trans people’s restroom access have seen a spike in public-safety issues. But according to some studies, not having protected restroom access can be harmful for trans people.