Mt Juliet Pastor Goes Viral Over Bathroom Rant

Posted at 10:20 PM, Apr 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-26 00:01:44-04
A local pastor has gone viral after he posted a video in front of the Mt. Juliet Target about the store's bathroom policy.
He visited the store to find out about the recent bathroom policy meant to be inclusive for transgender people.

"I said excuse me?" he said in the video, recounting a conversation he had with a store employee, "she said 'yes because of the new law you can now use the restroom that you self-identify with.'"

Pastor Greg Locke said chatter about the the Target bathroom policy was swirling around his church and local community.  Armed with a cell phone he took his opinion online.

"No, Target I need no more information to know that you have lost your ever-loving mind," he says in the video, which reached more than 12 million views Monday afternoon. He posted it around 6:30 p.m. Friday to his Facebook Page. 

"I'm fearful of the people that are going to bend the law," he said in a sit-down interview with NewsChannel 5.

Pastor Locke says he thinks allowing people to use their preferred bathroom puts people in danger for attacks behind closed stalls. 

Tennessee Equality Project director Chris Sanders argues inclusive policies do just the opposite.

"All Target is trying to do is welcome people. And there is no evidence that this leads to an increase of anything that this minister is concerned with," Sanders said.

Sanders says Christianity is about love, not discrimination. That's something he says a pastor, of all people, should know.

"What we want people to understand is this is not a weapon," he said, holding a Bible.

But Pastor Locke says he has no problem with transgender people.

"It's not that transgender people are gonna go in raping folks. That's not the issue at all," he said, "they haven't done it, they're not gonna do it."

He's worried predators may take advantage of the policy, especially if more retailers follow Target's lead.

"Hastag Target missed the mark because this was a very very dumb move," he says in the video.

A corporate spokesperson from Target emailed NewsChannel 5 saying:
"We certainly respect that there are a wide variety of perspectives and opinions. As a company that firmly stands behind what it means to offer our team an inclusive place to work - and our guests an inclusive place to shop - we continue to believe that this is the right thing for Target."