Last fall, conservatives used anti-transgender scare tactics to convince the voters of Houston to defeat an ordinance that created nondiscrimination protections for the LGBT community. Now, those Texas activists are trying to take their fearmongering campaign national.
The Conservative Republicans of Texas, which has already been named a hate group for its rhetoric, has launched what it’s calling “Campaign for USA” — modeled after their “Campaign for Houston.” It uses the same ad from the Houston campaign, which shows a little girl being stalked by a man in a bathroom, but the spot now targets Target for the retail giant’s inclusive bathroom policy:
Watch the ads simultaneously for a side-by-side comparison.
The Campaign for USA website claims that by allowing guests to use restrooms and changing facilities that match their gender identity, “This means that any man can say he feels like a woman and use the women’s bathroom or dressing room at Target. Just because a man feels like and thinks he is a women [sic], does not make him a woman, any more than thinking he is a dog, would make him a dog, even if he walked on all fours and barked.” The site then links to an article about pup play, a kink found in the gay community that has nothing to do with gender identity.
“The whole concept of ‘transgender’ of course is absurd and irrational,” the site insists. “Those who practice this behavior or enable it have adopted perverted thinking.”
In case the Campaign’s perspective is not clear, the site continues to drive home the point:
The term transgender is a euphemism, a weaker alternative, for the term pervert, in order to make the behavior seem more acceptable. Men who dress up like women and want to use women’s bathrooms, showers and locker rooms are sexual deviants and perverts. The LGBT homosexual political movement wants to force society, under the penalty of law, to accept, affirm as normal, and celebrate the perverted homosexual lifestyle and the deviant behavior of men who claim to be women. The goal of the LGBT is to destroy all Biblical moral absolutes and create sexual anarchy in society. The LGBT political movement wants it mandated that this wicked lifestyle be taught to children in school, starting in Kindergarten, and that children be encouraged to experiment with homosexual and transvestite behavior. The goal is to break down the children’s consciences, so that they can more easily be recruited into the homosexual lifestyle.
It proceeds to start citing Bible verses, promising that rather than “affirm and celebrate homosexual behavior and other forms of sexual perversion,” they will “proclaim the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” to the LGBT community “so that they may be saved from the penalty of their sin and walk in the light of God’s word.”
The Campaign for USA page also has its own Target boycott petition. Like previous Target boycotts, the petition is likely for email list-building purposes only. It can be signed with fake information and does not even show many people have signed so far. ThinkProgress successfully signed the petition using anonymous information, including a fake email address and the fake phone number P-FREELY.
The various petitions, as well as numerous in-store protests, have had little impact on Target. Just this week, several anti-LGBT activists confronted Target executives at a national shareholders meeting for their pro-LGBT stance. They were unfazed.
The anti-Target ad will nevertheless run across Texas for three months, costing the Campaign $2 million. Jared Woodfill, president of the campaign, promised, “We’re not going to let this go. We’re going to continue to fight this battle until Target changes their policy or goes out of business.” That could be a very long time.