"All individuals have a right to use restroom facilities that correspond to the individual's gender identity, regardless of the individual's sex assigned at birth,” the policy states.
The policy was changed after a woman named Jessie Meehan went to a Walgreens store on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles last summer and was denied entrance to the ladies room because the manager thought she looked like a man. Meehan, an active member of the LGBTQ community, complained that she had been discriminated against.
As the New York Post reports, she asked to speak with a manager who told her that it was store policy to deny access to people based on their appearance.
“I had to go so I didn’t put up much of a fight and used the stall while the men used the urinals next to me,” Meehan wrote in an email to Walgreens. “This in itself was very humiliating for me and I felt extremely uncomfortable.”
She sent a letter to the company explaining what happened and suggesting ways to fix the situation, but did not receive a response, which prompted her to go to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which led to the new policy.
“Through [Meehan’s] efforts, with the backing of the ACLU of Southern California, the Walgreens pharmacy chain with more than 8,000 stores nationwide adopted a policy to address bathroom discrimination,” the ACLU said in a statement last week.
Walgreens appears to be moving in the same ill-fated direction as Target Stores, Inc., which changed its restroom and fitting room policy two years ago to allow people to use the facility with which they “identify." As a result, dozens of women and children have been victimized by male predators in Target dressing rooms across the country. More than a million people have boycotted Target Stores, and their sales have dropped precipitously.
Now it seems as though Walgreens is headed down the same path.
“Walgreens' new policy could potentially result in female customers becoming victims of voyeurism, sexual assault and physical attack,” the AFA warns.
The AFA is urging concerned citizens to sign a petition urging the store to immediately reverse this dangerous policy. Thus far, the petition has almost 80,000 signatures.
People can also call Walgreen’s corporate office at 1-800-925-4733 to share their concerns.
If you are a Walgreen’s customers, the AFA is also suggesting that you let your local store manager how alarmed you are by this dangerous new policy.
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