A Florida woman is reacting to retailer Target’s policy to allow shoppers and employees to “use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity” by saying she plans to bring a gun with her into the ladies room in the stores as a “bodyguard.” Anita Staver, an Orlando-based attorney, whose Facebook profile photo depicts her holding an assault rifle, made the explosive statement in a post on Twitter a few days ago.
— Anita Staver (@AnitaStaver) April 22, 2016
Staver is part of the intense backlash against the national retailer’s controversial decision to allow people to use the restroom of their choice in stores. In a statement last week, Target said the new policy was formed in response to recent laws and proposed laws in several states that bar transgender people from using the bathrooms of their choice. “Inclusivity is a core belief at Target,” the statement read. “We believe that everyone — every team member, every guest, and every community — deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally.” But hundreds of thousands disagree with the retailer and have launched a protest on social media using the #BoycottTarget hashtag. According to Business Insider, more than 700,000 signed a pledge to boycott Target, including Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and they maintain that Target’s bathroom policy poses a “danger to wives and daughters” and is “exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims.”
Anita Staver is not just a run of the mill protester in this conflict. She’s an attorney and reportedly a Christian, and is president of the Liberty Counsel, which describes itself as “an international nonprofit organization” that’s “dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989.” If that agenda and her last name sounds familiar, you might recall that her husband, Mat Staver, also an attorney and the founder of the Liberty Counsel, defended Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who spent five days in jail last year for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. According to CBS News, Staver said his group’s involvement with instigating the recent spate of bathroom laws has nothing to do with discrimination, just religious freedom. “It is only about being free to pursue your faith,” Mat Staver told CBS News. “We have no interest in discriminating against anyone.”
However, Anita Staver cited a different reason in a followup post to her vow to pack heat when entering a Target bathroom. “I want protection from the perverts who will use the law to gain access to women,” Staver said in a post on Twitter.
Read the full story at Orlando Weekly.