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Target Launches Line of T-Shirts Supporting Gay Pride

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In a partnership with the Family Equality Council, Minneapolis=based retailer Target is selling a line of Gay Pride-themed T-shirts online this year, which grew out of "a grass-roots effort among employees and the company's LGBTA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allies) Business Council", according to a Target spokeswoman.

Just two years ago, Target was under fire for its donations to MN Forward, a Republican PAC supporting anti-gay candidate Tom Emmer.

Family Equality Council's Jennifer Christler tells The Star-Tribune, the Emmer contribution had nothing to do with this:

"I certainly recognize what an incredible reaction [the Emmer-related donation] generated," said Jennifer Chrisler, the council's executive director. "But here's what I know about Target and their work with us: They're 100 percent committed to the goal of families being respected in all communities including parents who happen to be LGBT. This is just a continuation of that support."

The Star-Tribune adds:

Ten T-shirts are now featured on Target's website with gay-friendly themes. Two feature a design by rocker Gwen Stefani, who has her own line of kids' hipster clothing called Harajuku Mini at Target. The Stefani design reads, "Love is love." Each Pride T-shirt sells for $12.99, all of which will be donated to the Family Equality Council. Donations are capped at $120,000.

What's Target's stand on the impending ballot measure that would constitutionally ban same-sex marriage in the state?

Target, the $70 billion cheap chic retailer, hasn't taken a public stand on the amendment. In a statement, the company notes its "long history" of supporting the LGBT community but acknowledges "there is a broad range of strongly held views on the [Minnesota] Marriage Amendment." The company goes on to encourage employees to exercise their right to vote.

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Comments

  1. So these shirts are online only and not in stores? Why not put the shirts in stores?

    Posted by: Fred | May 23, 2012 8:34:49 AM


  2. Target sucks. They want it both ways but in reality do nothing in Minnesota to actual advance equal protection for LGBT citizens.

    Posted by: Louis | May 23, 2012 8:49:30 AM


  3. I'd rather go donate directly to this org then let the money trickle through Target. The fact they say they support us and still defend their giving of money to an anti-gay group is very ballsy. Either you support us or you don't. If you don't that's fine I get that and can continue shopping there if you say you do but act like you don't that's the thing I have a hard time with.

    Posted by: Bruce | May 23, 2012 8:50:51 AM


  4. It's nice that Target is featuring gay pride t-shirts. But seriously, that is one butt-ugly design on display. There is no way in hell I'd ever wear something so tacky.

    Posted by: David in Houston | May 23, 2012 8:58:26 AM


  5. Target has continued and even INCREASED donations to anti-gay politicians and political organizations. Their "reevaluation" of their donation policy was a complete PR stunt. A quick google of the incident shows that their donation policy didn't change at all. They just used the claim of a policy change as cover for increasing donations to the same types of candidates that got them into hot water in the first place. The plan worked like a charm because the gay community stopped bitching and everyone else moved on to the next outrage. Meanwhile it's business as usual at Chez Target, but with "Pride" shirts.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | May 23, 2012 9:09:53 AM


  6. Uh oh....One Million Mom(s) is going to have to ask her neighbor to join her club. So many boycotts, so little time.

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | May 23, 2012 9:16:27 AM


  7. Who the hell designed that crap!?

    Posted by: Pedro | May 23, 2012 9:23:51 AM


  8. Just selling these shirts online is akin to sitting on the back of the bus. They clearly want your money but they don't want others to see that they are selling these tee shirts. What a load of crap.

    Posted by: John | May 23, 2012 9:24:27 AM


  9. the word gay is missing from the shirts

    Posted by: harveyh | May 23, 2012 9:26:11 AM


  10. Too bad they're ugly! lol

    Posted by: Monsieur V | May 23, 2012 9:28:05 AM


  11. Target hasn't taken a public stand because their CEO is anti-gay, as are most of the higher ups.

    That doesn't mean specific franchises are not pro-LGBT. They certainly are. But at the end of the day, the money goes into the pocketbooks of people who do not support us. This reeks of desperation from Target, trying to rehabilitate their horrendous public image and get some gay/gay supportive straights' money. Not going to work.

    Posted by: Francis | May 23, 2012 9:33:43 AM


  12. Target still has never apologized to the public for their MN Forward fiasco. Any GLBT person who shops at Target is bankrolling their own persecution.

    Posted by: Johnson | May 23, 2012 9:41:48 AM


  13. I think they realized JC Penney was making money....

    that's it. Still haters.

    Posted by: doug | May 23, 2012 9:48:27 AM


  14. They gotta be laughing their a$$e$ off.

    "We'll get them to buy these ugly shirts, then take the money and donate it to Michelle Bachman. Stupid homo's they have no idea"

    This is beyond Machiavellian - it's diabolical.

    Posted by: Allen | May 23, 2012 9:49:15 AM


  15. I haven't been to a Target or their website in the past two years and I'm not going now. They have to pick ONE side --- our side --- exclusively to get my money.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | May 23, 2012 9:51:13 AM


  16. This is mere suggestion of support, not real support.

    Real support will come from Target when it's not a "grass roots effort from employees and the Company's LBTBA council" but a solid, public commitment from Target's executive management to stand financially and politically against Minnesota's Marriage Amendment.

    Meanwhile, this weak showing of support only demonstrates a conflict between employees who support and an executive team that does not. Step up Target board and executives and make your home state a better place for everyone.

    Posted by: Mitch | May 23, 2012 9:56:05 AM


  17. They can keep their ugly t-shirt. I haven't spent one cent at Target for two years and don't plan to until there is a change of leadership at the top.

    Posted by: Matt | May 23, 2012 10:02:26 AM


  18. Wow. So much misinformation and misplaced bile.

    @Fred, It takes a long time to develop, source, and approve products through a typical corporate chain. There wasn't enough time to get things set up for in-store placement for the various times Pride occurs around the country. And to identify all the stores that would be relevant. (But there should be more LGBTA products showing up in stores in the future.)

    @Louis, Do you even know what you're talking about? Target has been a top level sponsor of Pride, HRC, Ribbon Ride, Aidswalk, and Rainbow Families in MN for years.

    @Bruce, 100% of the sales goes to the Family Equality Council. 100%. That a pretty good "trickle."

    @HarveyH, Seriously?!

    @Johnson, Yes, they have.


    Ugh. I give up. It's not worth it.
    Haters gonna hate, as they say.

    Yes, I'm a gay guy who works for Target, among thousands. I'm just a finance serf, so no I'm not paid to comment. But I was on the LGBTA business council that worked to get the Pride products started. My views do not represent the company. That is all.

    Posted by: Frozen North | May 23, 2012 10:04:05 AM


  19. "there is a broad range of strongly held views on the [Minnesota] Marriage Amendment."

    No, Target, there isn't. There are 2 views, one for it, one against. And only one view that doesn't support writing discrimination against gay people into the MN Constitution. Anytime someone uses the phrase "strongly held views" to justify anti-gay bigotry they're enabling the bigotry to continue. Fail.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 23, 2012 10:11:38 AM


  20. I agree... its so ugly! Otherwise, I think as a whole, Target isn't out to kill the gays but we all have to remember that Target's primary goal as a business is to run a successful business and if that means supporting the politician who supports corporate tax breaks, they will support him/her. Unfortunately, that usually translates to a Republican.

    Posted by: andypharmer | May 23, 2012 10:12:59 AM


  21. "They're 100 percent committed to the goal of families being respected in all communities including parents who happen to be LGBT."

    If they were really 100% supportive, wouldn't they come out against the amendment then? I wish Target would grow a spine like Microsoft, Starbucks, and Google and denounce the amendment. I don't think they are evil but their support is very calculated. The fact that the shirts grew out of a grass-root effort among employees and not at a corporate level is a little telling. Target wants credit for being involved with LGBT rights but not too much credit - keeping the shirts online will help deflect the conversatives and hate groups.

    From a purely asestic view, the shirts are alright but nothing spectacular. As mentioned above, none acutally say LGBT and six of the ten shirts just say Harmony in rainbow colors. Only one actually says Pride. I say they get a C+ for effort.

    Posted by: KT | May 23, 2012 10:39:07 AM


  22. This shirt design is cynical -- poor design and it only implies gay support. It's like it was slapped together by dictate of an executive who wants to placate their gay shoppers.

    In this day and age where you can buy everything online anyway, why would you select this drab rag, of all the gay themed apparel available in the universe?

    Posted by: Gregoire | May 23, 2012 10:43:36 AM


  23. I live a long way frim Minnesota, but I have not spent a penny at Target since the Minnesota fiasco.

    "There are 100% committed to families being respected in every community..."
    No, they certainly are not. They indirectly helped bankroll an attack on Minnesota gay people's families. A 100% cimmitment to respect would require them to denounce any such attacks and refuse any financial support for those who make them.

    "There are many stringly held views....". Yeah, yeah. There are many strongly held views on everything.
    Do the children of a gay couple in Minnesota deserve to have the same health insurance as the children of straight people? Does a gay woman in Washington state deserve to be notified by authorities if her spouse dies, or should she have to find out why she didn't come home by reading the newspaper? Should Saudi women be allowed to drive? Should black people be allowed in restaurants in Alabama?
    Ask the Grand Dragon of the Klan what his strongly-held view is on some of these topics and it's likely the opposite of Starbucks' strongly held view, whuch they've made clear in both word and deed. That's why I'm enjoying a 4-shot espresso and got breakfast AND lunch to go from Starbucks.
    Pick a side on the topic of equal rights for everyine, Target, and don't excuse, let alone finance, bigotry because some ill-informed person strongly holds onto it.

    "My views do not reoresent the company."
    @Frozen North: That is clear from the money they gave to Minnesota Forward, and it is why I have stopped spending any money at Target.

    Posted by: Gregv | May 23, 2012 10:49:03 AM


  24. I live a long way frim Minnesota, but I have not spent a penny at Target since the Minnesota fiasco.

    "There are 100% committed to families being respected in every community..."
    No, they certainly are not. They indirectly helped bankroll an attack on Minnesota gay people's families. A 100% cimmitment to respect would require them to denounce any such attacks and refuse any financial support for those who make them.

    "There are many stringly held views....". Yeah, yeah. There are many strongly held views on everything.
    Do the children of a gay couple in Minnesota deserve to have the same health insurance as the children of straight people? Does a gay woman in Washington state deserve to be notified by authorities if her spouse dies, or should she have to find out why she didn't come home by reading the newspaper? Should Saudi women be allowed to drive? Should black people be allowed in restaurants in Alabama?
    Ask the Grand Dragon of the Klan what his strongly-held view is on some of these topics and it's likely the opposite of Starbucks' strongly held view, whuch they've made clear in both word and deed. That's why I'm enjoying a 4-shot espresso and got breakfast AND lunch to go from Starbucks.
    Pick a side on the topic of equal rights for everyine, Target, and don't excuse, let alone finance, bigotry because some ill-informed person strongly holds onto it.

    "My views do not reoresent the company."
    @Frozen North: That is clear from the money they gave to Minnesota Forward, and it is why I have stopped spending any money at Target.

    Posted by: Gregv | May 23, 2012 10:49:07 AM


  25. While reading an article on the shirts by a local Fox affliate, they brought up an interesting point (albeit it accidentally - it was more the way the sentence was written than an actual idea). 100% of the T-Shirt sales go to the Family Equality Council. Target doesn't profit from the shirts but also doesn't contribute at all to the FEC. They basically serve as a middle man, with the total donations coming directly from the consumer. Kind of interesting.

    Posted by: Al | May 23, 2012 11:25:23 AM


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