Social Distortion

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Will Never Again Shop at a Transgender-Friendly Target Store

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is apparently so disgusted by Target's treating people equally based on gender identity that he is never shopping there again, as he announced in a Facebook post Sunday.

Last Tuesday, Target announced that it would allow people to use restrooms based on their gender identity, aiming to create an environment of inclusion for its transgender customers and staff. And then all hell broke loose. 

Within 24 hours, the right-wing American Family Association launched a petition urging people to boycott Target for "allowing men to use the women's restrooms and dressing rooms in their stores," which "means a man can simply say he 'feels like a woman today' and enter the women's restroom...even if young girls or women are already in there." (To be clear, as we wrote countless times during the HERO craze last year, that is not how it works.) By now, more than 500,000 people have signed the petition, apparently afraid that men will pretend to be women so they can enter women's restrooms and assault young girls. (Again, that has literally never happened in the nearly 300 cities that have ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity.)

Patrick, of course, chimed in to announce his staunch support for the petition against Target. To set the tone for his Facebook post, he says, "The world has gone mad and we must stand and fight":
Last year, Patrick was heavily involved in the push to kill the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which would have provided protection against discrimination to many classes of people, including LGBTQ Houstonians. He filmed an ad that made HERO all about protecting women in bathrooms and also paid for probably the most controversial one out there, showing a man following a seven-year-old into a stall.

On Facebook Sunday, Patrick boasted that the ordinance was struck down overwhelmingly by voters, saying former mayor Annise Parker's HERO ordinance would've allowed men in women's bathrooms "under the guise of equal protection." Reiterating his position, he said, "I will not spend a single dollar with any business that says a man can enter a bathroom with the women in my family or your family." 

You can read Target's statement on "continuing to stand for inclusivity" here.

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Meagan Flynn is a staff writer at the Houston Press who, despite covering criminal justice and other political squabbles in Harris County, drinks only one small cup of coffee per day.
Contact: Meagan Flynn