Tom Emmer, Candidate Behind Target Boycott, Refuses to Comment on Amendment Banning Same-Sex Marriage

Minnesota GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, whose opposition to same-sex marriage is well known thanks to a boycott of Target Corp. over its donation to a conservative PAC that funded ads for the conservative candidate, avoided commenting on the issue during a Friday night debate broadcast on Twin Cities public television, the Minnesota Independent reports:

Target_emmer The question was requested by an anti-same-sex marriage group, according to host TPT’s Kathy Wurzer. Emmer has authored a bill for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota and has pushed against legislation that would give even a few rights to same-sex couples.

“As a citizen I have a view that is well known. As a governor, it’s not going to be up to the governor. Whether it’s somebody that says they have to oppose it, it’s not up to the governor. It’s up to the legislature,” Emmer said. “And you know what, this election is not about those issues, this election is about the economy, and it’s about jobs.”

Wurzer interrupted Emmer, “But there are a lot of issues in a campaign…”

Emmer responded, “People are trying to distract us from what we have to do, which is get the economy…”

Wurzer interrupted again, “We spent the entire hour talking about the economy. Would you let voters… Do you think voters should vote on a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage?”

Emmer finished with, “That would be up to the legislature.”

A Facebook group pushing the Target boycott has more than 62,000 supporters.


  1. Tribute says

    So, Tom. If the DLF-controlled legislature passes marriage equality, you wouldn’t veto it as governor? Sounds like that’s what you’re saying.

  2. ravewulf says

    Sounds to me that someone rather high up at Target had a talk with Mr. Emmer to keep his mouth shut so they don’t get even more flack on this issue.

    And the new banner is beautiful <3

  3. Patric says

    Let’s be clear on what’s going on here: He is using the Bob McDonnell playbook from last year’s Virginia governor’s race and the national Republican party is going to insist that he continue to do so through the election.

    McDonnell, despite a history of stridently anti-gay writings and positions, focused during his election last year on the economy. Preditably, this strategy was more than enough (it never takes much) to get the quislings over at LCR to endorse him: “Given his history and voting record as a member of the House of Delegates, we understand why many are skeptical of his recent statements, but McDonnell’s actions as Attorney General provide a reasoned basis for believing that, if elected, McDonnell will be a Governor with whom the GLBT community can work in seeking to pass laws that will provide assurance that his commitment to nondiscrimination will last beyond his administration [citing, remarkably, McDonnell’s opinion that gay people could still form contracts with each other even after anti-gay discrimination was enshrined in the State’s constitution as evidence of what a great guy he is!]. . . . We are under no illusion that McDonnell is now a champion of gay rights. Nonetheless, his more recent statements and actions give us optimism that McDonnell would offer GLBT people meaningful roles in his administration and the opportunity to work with him to enact laws that will secure for GLBT people the equal rights he has said everybody in Virginia has the right to expect.”

    Well, for anyone who has followed the story, you know what happened next. McDonnell and his AG, the rabidly homophobic Ken Cuccinelli, took office and proceeded to dismantle protections for gay and lesbian Virginians across government and across univeristy campuses in the State. Another job well done by Log Cabin Republicans.

    Republicans know that the polls are moving away from them on gay issues and that they need to focus solely on jobs and the economy to maximize their electoral chances in November. Any time spent getting sidetracked on gay issues is a political misstep for them. Once they’re in office, on the other hand, just look at what happened with McDonnell, Chris Christie, Linda Lingle and so many other Log Cabin favorites to see what we could expect.

    The truth, which the political arm of the Republican Establishment and Emmer’s handlers don’t want people focused on but which Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown know very well, is that there is arguably no more important race in the country this November in the struggle to extend the reach of marriage equality than the race for Minnesota governor. The winner of that race will either be Emmer, an extreme homophobe who would alone have the power to block passage of marriage equality legislation in the State for the next four years, or progressive former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton, a marriage equality supporter who has made clear that he will sign marriage equality legislation once it hits his desk (presently the DFL (Democratic) party enjoys wide majorities in both chambers of the Minnesota legislature).

    To all those who, frustrated with the pace of progress on LGBT issues, have decided not to donate to the DNC, though I don’t fully share your frustration with the President I do support your decision to withhold funds from the DNC and to target your donations instead to pro-equality candidates.

    As Evan Wolfson and others have noted, we cannot sit back and expect that federasl judges will do all the heavy lifting in the struggle for marriage equality. Our prospects once a marriage equality case reaches the Supreme Court will simply be better if 15 rather than five states have enacted equality legislation. That is why the Minnesota governor’s race matters so much, despite how much effort Tom Emmer and the national Republican party will put into convincing independent and “moderate” voters before the election that all they really care about is jobs and the economy.

    Don’t be fooled. Get involved to make sure that Minnesota has a pro-marriage equality Governor next year.

    From Senator Dayton’s website (and note that these are not just words; the Senator has a record of support for our community to back up his words): “I support full marriage equality with full benefits. All Minnesotans should have the right to legally marry the person they love.”

  4. GregV says

    It’s interesting that my screen has a Best Buy click-on ad above this story.
    I’ve haven’t been to Best Buy or Target since the donation to Emmer came to light. Their explanation for the donation sounded like: “Human rights is less important than our profits.”
    And the follow-up “apology” translated to “We’re sorry we’re being boycotted, but we have no plans to do anything to make things right.”

  5. ravewulf says

    To a corperation nothing is more important than profits. Not safety, not the environment, not fairness, not equality, just profit and things that they can’t get PR to take care of that will negatively impact their profits.

    Corperations don’t have a conscious, they are just machines. Anyone who starts to get a conscious will be replaced.

  6. Tony George says

    Now that we know that Target is an extreme right-wing conservative organization, Target shoppers will only be the same people who buy gold from Glenn Beck.

  7. Joe says

    When it comes to Target Ever LGBT person and those who view LGBT people as people has to get a Target Credit Card and on Dec 2nd wipe out their toy and trim a tree depts. Hold the items until Dec 26th and then bring it all back. A million people at 3,000 limit would be a 3 BILLION dollar hit. Suggest the same for Best Buy as well.

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