Friday, July 30, 2010

Attention Target Shoppers: Follow Your Money

Louise Brooks
Integrity Director of Communications

Integrity joins several other LGBT advocacy groups who have expressed disappointment in Target for its campaign contribution supporting an anti-gay politician.
In case you missed it, here's the backstory story from

Demand Target Stop Donating to Anti-Gay Politicians

Retail giant Target has given $150,000 to a political candidate in Minnesota, Tom Emmer, who has ties to a radical Christian rock band, You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, that has called for gays and lesbians to be murdered. The money, given by Target to a political action committee known as Minnesota Forward, has made its way to the Emmer campaign, despite Emmer's closeness with the anti-gay group.

What makes this move all the more troubling is that Target openly markets to the LGBT community, and has previously incorporated a number of LGBT-specific corporate policies. For them to filter money, let alone such a high amount, to an organization funding a candidate with ties to an anti-gay hate group flies in the face of their corporate practice, and sends a message that a politics based on fear and hatred toward LGBT people is acceptable.

Once the story hit, Gregg Steinhafel, Target’s Chief Executive Officer, responded that his support of the gay community is "unwavering." You can read more about his email to Target employees here.

The Human Rights Campaign, which previously gave Target a 100 percent approval rating for their treatment of LGBT employees, issued this statement last Monday:

"Target has worked hard to create a fair and equitable workplace for its LGBT employees, and should be proud of its leadership in this area. It is for this reason that HRC is very disappointed in Target's significant monetary contribution to Minnesota Forward, a group supporting the most clearly anti-LGBT candidate for Governor in Minnesota. We have reached out to Target to express our concern over this contribution. While political contributions to support candidates are not a factor in HRC Foundation's Corporate Equality Index, HRC finds it puzzling that Target would take great steps to support LGBT inclusiveness while simultaneously helping a candidate who shamelessly rejects equality for LGBT Minnesotans."
There is now a Facebook group calling for a boycott of Target.

My household represents a market share attracted to Target for certain items and we shop there regularily. We have emailed Target's CEO to express our concern. Please join us and send an email to:
fax: 612-696-6325

One thing is clear, you can't say you are pro-gay and then support anti-gay politics. You can't take our hard earned money and then give it to an anti-gay politician and expect us to keep coming back. We enjoyed the bargains we got at Target but frankly, my family can't afford to shop there anymore.

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