Human Rights Campaign | Minnesota | News | Target | Tom Emmer

HRC Calls on Target and Best Buy to 'Make it Right' with Regard to Donations to Anti-Gay Candidates

The Human Rights Campaign today published an open letter to Target and Best Buy following outrage over their donations totaling $250,000 to MN Forward, a conservative PAC supporting anti-gay gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.

Target_emmerThe letter, which notes the two corporations consistent 100% ratings on HRC's Corporate Equality Index, urges the companies to "make it right" with equivalent donations "to groups that support candidates who will put all Minnesota families first and fulfill the promises of our highest ideals."

Reads the letter, in part:

Now, Americans are questioning their loyalty to your brands with word of significant contributions to the political action committee MN Forward that hopes to install one of the most strident opponents of equality in the Minnesota Governor’s mansion. With these contributions, you have severely damaged those carefully cultivated reputations and violated the spirit of the gold standards bestowed on you. In fact, the long-term effects on families that shop at Target and Best Buy throughout Minnesota and the U.S. will be devastating.

At this critical time in Minnesotans’ quest for equality, MN Forward and the candidates they are supporting would turn Minnesota backward, away from the promise of equal opportunity and fairness that we hold dear. No matter your motivations in making these donations, they didn’t occur in a vacuum. Same-sex couples in your home state are denied the equality given to other couples in marriage and many state leaders are poised to right that inequity very soon. $250,000 in contributions to those who would stand in the way is a punch in the gut to those of us who want to see all families treated fairly. What may have sounded like a “good business decision” in the board room turns out to be a horribly short-sighted business decision when millions of consumers lose respect for your companies.

HRC is publishing the letter in a full-page ad in the Minnesota Star-Tribune, and encouraged its members, via email this afternoon, to add their names to it.

Earlier this week, the group said that it currently had no plans to revise the corporations' ratings on the CEI due to the fact that political contributions are not a factor in calculating the ratings, but left the door open for future changes:

"In 2011, for example, there will be nearly a half-dozen new criteria that will be added for evaluation. Criteria will continue to evolve as we come into new information."

Read the full letter, AFTER THE JUMP...

HRC Letter to Target and BestBuy

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  1. Bravo for the full page MSM if they'd just spend some of their millions on similar MSM ads on ENDA, DADT, DOMA, and UAFA instead of endless gay media ads preaching to the choir [read: pimping for donations].

    BUT they are simply being disingenuous about the Equality Index critera....some would say LYING....when they spin that political contributions can't or shouldn't be included in company evaluations.

    For years, this has been one of the criteria:

    "Employer exhibits responsible behavior toward the GLBT community; does not engage in action that would undermine GLBT equality. Employers found engaging in activities that would undermine GLBT equality will have 15 points removed from their scores."

    Yet, for years, they consistently ignored widely known information in the public domain that members of the Coors family were continuing to take some of their profits and give them to some of the most powerful and rabidly antigay entities such as the Heritage and Castle Rock Foundation. Holly Coors was on Heritage's board and 6 of the 7 board members of Castle Rock were Coors family members at one time [5 of 6 still are].

    Yet, year after year, Coors [since bought up by a larger gay-friendly company] got 100% HRC approval and BUY ratings while, they, themselves, took donations from Coors.

    IN SHORT: there are far more ethical and accomplished LGBT groups to give your money to.

    Posted by: Michael @ | Jul 30, 2010 7:03:30 PM

  2. All ABOARD! The HRC Bandwagon is about to leave. Donations and HRCers to the left, those with true balls to the right! Choooo! Choooo!

    Posted by: David | Jul 30, 2010 9:23:13 PM

  3. I think the old saying applies to Target and Best Buy....

    They want to "Have one's cake and eat it too!"

    Posted by: CB | Jul 30, 2010 10:29:39 PM

  4. I have owned a lot of Target stock for a long time and have informed my broker to make my displeasure known. If the response isn't satisfactory by this Monday morning,I will instruct him to sell. Nothing hurts a Company's stock price like a big selloff. I recommend others to do the same thing.

    Posted by: Jeff | Jul 31, 2010 8:05:21 AM

  5. What is very clear from the Target emal I received is, Target Executives are using corporate funds to try and get the Republican elected because the Democrats (including the great-grandson of Target's founder Mark Dayton) are campaigning to tax the wealthy! Which is an abuse of corporate funds, like the rich shop at a discount big box chain!

    Posted by: Aaron | Jul 31, 2010 1:01:47 PM

  6. Target needs to help develop a business friendly and gay friendly environment. How about sponsoring the Log Cabin Republicans of MN AND donate to moderate Republicans in the state. That is one way where they can have their cake and eat it too.

    Posted by: Matt Munson | Jul 31, 2010 1:33:55 PM

  7. HRC is involved? Problem solved.

    Posted by: Rebel | Aug 1, 2010 1:51:56 PM

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