Protesters, counter-protesters face off outside Target over store's bathroom policy

ByLauren Lea KTRK logo
Monday, May 2, 2016
Bathroom policy draws protesters, counter-protesters to Target
Protesters and counter-protesters gathered outside a Target store Sunday over company's transgender bathroom policy.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Protesters decrying Target's bathroom and fitting room policy were met with counter protesters at a store located in the Heights-area Sunday evening.

The company's decision to allow people to use bathrooms and fitting rooms that correspond with their gender identity is drawing criticism from some of the same people who decried Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) last year.

"Our city has made it very crystal clear and overwhelming response that we do not want men in our women's restrooms in our city," explained Tex Christopher, who helped lead grassroots efforts to defeat HERO.

Christopher and other critics of Target's policy are boycotting the company and stood on the opposite side of the street from the store on Shearn Street. Counter protesters faced off with them from the other curb, closer to the store.

"This is a small, small but vocal group of people that are protesting and there are a whole lot more folks just like us who believe in that company and are gonna spend a lot of money at Target this year," explained Noel Freeman, with HOUEquality.

A heavy police presence was on hand, in case big crowds showed up, and approximately 40 people showed up to voice their opinions.

"There's no equation between being transgendered and pedophilia and sexual assault," said Kenny Jones who supports Target's policy.

"Equality is the same for you as it is for me. If someone has a greater right to use a bathroom than someone else as an expression of their sexuality, that's a problem," explained City Council Member Mike Knox.

Knox suggested unisex bathrooms as an alternative solution.

At times, things got heated between both sides with people chanting and yelling. This is the second demonstration at an area Target within a week.

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