(DCWatchdog.com) – Target has been forced to remove LGBT products and enact other store changes after public backlash, including customers knocking over displays and confronting workers.
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The changes come ahead of “Gay Pride” month, which is celebrated in June, The Associated Press reports.
“Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work,” Target said in a statement.
“Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior,” the retail giant added.
It also revealed that angry customers tipped over displays at some stores, yelled at employees, and uploaded “threatening” social media videos filmed inside those venues.
Target didn’t reveal which products would be removed.
However, according to AP, the ones that have caused the most significant public outrage include “tuck friendly” women’s swimsuits for biological men wishing to hide “their private parts,” and satanic-themed LGBT clothes and accessories designed by UK firm Abprallen.
Target also said in some stores in Southern states, it has shifted its Gay Pride merchandise from the front to the back because of backlash and confrontations. Its new “Pride” products have been sold since early May.
The report points out that a growing number of state legislatures are considering a record number of “bills targeting LGBTQ+ individuals.”
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, a nonprofit, nearly 500 “anti-LGBTQ+ bills” have been introduced in state legislatures since the beginning of 2023.
Many of those pieces of new draft legislation ban “gender-affirming care” for minors or deal with education, prohibiting classroom discussions of “sexuality and gender identity.”
At least 17 states have adopted laws limiting transgender surgeries and medications for children.
“An Associated Press analysis found that often those bills sprang not from grassroots or constituent demand, but from the pens of a handful of conservative interest groups,” AP claims.
The report points out that Minnesota-based Target and other retailers such as Walmart and H&M have been expanding their LGBT lines for about a decade.