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Target says transgender people can use bathroom that aligns with their identity

This Monday, Aug. 11, 2015, file photo shows a Target store in Miami. Target is making a stand on the debate around what type of bathrooms transgender people can use. In a statement posted on its company website Tuesday, April 19, 2016, the discounter, based in Minneapolis, said transgender employees and customers can use the restroom or fitting room facility that "corresponds with their gender identity."
This Monday, Aug. 11, 2015, file photo shows a Target store in Miami. Target is making a stand on the debate around what type of bathrooms transgender people can use. In a statement posted on its company website Tuesday, April 19, 2016, the discounter, based in Minneapolis, said transgender employees and customers can use the restroom or fitting room facility that "corresponds with their gender identity." AP

Target Corp. has made it clear that transgender people in its stores are welcome to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.

The statement Tuesday by the Minneapolis-based retailer comes amid debates over restricting public restroom use to the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate.

While many of those conversations have centered on restrooms in public schools and government buildings, Target appears to be one of the first big-box retailers to take a proactive stance in declaring its position on the matter when it comes to its own restrooms.

Target’s position also extends to its fitting rooms.

“Inclusivity is a core belief at Target,” the company said in a statement on its corporate website. “It’s something we celebrate. We stand for equality and equity, and strive to make our guests and team members feel accepted, respected and welcomed in our stores and workplaces every day.”

Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman, said it is not a new policy, but the retailer wanted to clarify its position given the questions it has received from both customers and employees amid the national debate.

A number of other companies, including some retailers, have been vocal in opposing North Carolina’s recently enacted law that restricts transgender people from using the restroom that aligns with their gender identity in public buildings.

Retail industry analysts said they haven’t heard much until now from major retailers about their own restroom policies.

“Target being more proactive about it could very well open – or force – the dialogue,” said Carol Spieckerman, a retail consultant. “Anytime a retailer takes a more vocal stance, the microphone goes in front of all of the others.”

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