Ken Paxton Targets Target

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is not going to take Target's announcement that they want people to use the restroom of their choice sitting down — or standing up, as it were. In a letter provided by Paxton to Fox News that we managed to track down on a Breitbart writer's Scirbd account, Paxton suggests that Target may be opening itself up to some sort of a crime wave in its stores by allowing people to use the restroom they associate with their gender. Paxton writes: 

On April 19, Target announced that it would "welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity."

Target, of course, is currently free to choose such a policy for its Texas stores. The voters in Houston recently repealed by a wide margin an ordinance that advanced many of the same goals as Target's current policy.

The Texas Legislature may at some point in the future address the issue. Regardless of whether Texas legislates on this topic, it is possible that allowing men in women's restrooms could lead to criminal and otherwise unwanted activity. As chief lawyer and law enforcement officer for the State of Texas, I ask that you provide the full text of Target's safety policies regarding the protection of women and children from those who would use the cover of Target's restroom policy for nefarious purposes.
Target, which hasn't responded to a request for comment, issued its statement about its bathroom policy in response to a North Carolina law that requires residents to use restrooms designated for the sex indicated on their birth certificates. In response, Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert in the state and the NBA threatened to move the 2017 All Star Game.

Wednesday, the U.S. Justice Department sent a letter to North Carolina's Governor Pat McCrory informing him that his state's bathroom bill violates the Civil Rights Act. Enforcing the law, the letter warns, could endanger North Carolina's federal education funding. Nevertheless, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick signaled Wednesday that a similar law could be coming to Texas.

"I would absolutely support a bill to keep men out of women's restrooms and locker rooms," he said on Twitter Wednesday.

Patrick has vowed not to shop at Target because it "allows men to use women's bathrooms" and is organizing a statewide boycott of the chain.
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young