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Target Issues Statement Addressing Its Recent Questionable Donations

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Target Corp. found themselves under the financial microscope once again, after it was revealed yesterday that they donated $50,000 dollars to the Republican Governors Association, a PAC that has spent over $3 million campaigning for anti-gay Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia. Some, including Right Wing Watch, claimed that the donation was "indirect support" for Cuccinelli, who has an extensive history of homophobic remarks.

Now, Target Corp. has released a statement to The Advocate, in an attempt to put these recent concerns to rest. Molly Snyder of Target Communications insisted that the funds must "not be used for any individual electoral campaigns or other electioneering efforts."

"Target has a long-standing commitment to the LGBT community. We also believe strongly in our civic responsibility to engage in a bipartisan manner at the state and federal level in order to learn about public policy priorities and advocate on issues that affect our business, such as fairness legislation," stated Snyder. "One of the ways we do this is through membership in both the Democratic and Republican Governors Associations, both of which include several hundred other corporate members. When paying for our memberships, we explicitly require that our dues not be used for any individual electoral campaigns or other electioneering efforts. It would therefore be wrong and inaccurate to associate our membership dues with any particular political candidate or campaign."

So far, no one has yet been able to independently confirm this claim. 


Target In Hot Water Again After Donating $50K To PAC Supporting Anti-Gay Ken Cuccinelli

Target Anti-gayMany probably still remember the ensuing controversy when it was revealed in 2010 that Target Corporation donated $150,000 to a PAC that supported homophobic Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. The company subsequently revised its corporate giving policies, and even launched a series of Gay Pride shirts in an attempt to restore its gay-friendly reputation. Unfortunately, it looks as though the company will have to conduct more damage-control, since Right Wing Watch is reporting that the company "contributed $50,000 to the Republican Governors Association, which so far this year has spent nearly $3 million on behalf of [Ken] Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial campaign." Towleroad readers may remember Cuccinelli as the homophobic attorney general from Virginia with an extensive history of homophobic remarks, and who wishes to reinstate a "Crimes Against Nature Law" in the state.

Target protestIt is worth noting that Target Corp. also made the same donation to the Democratic Governors Association, which is throwing its weight behind Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe. Right Wing Watch referred to the move as "equal opportunity influence-buy[ing]." Nevertheless, this indirect support of such a fiercely anti-gay candidate does call into question a previous promise by CEO Gregg Steinhafel to promote “a dialogue focused on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including GLBT issues," or a statement made last year by the company that it is “100 percent committed to the goal of families being respected in all communities including parents who happen to be LGBT."

This year, Target Corp. scored a perfect 100 on the HRC's Corporate Equality Index, a grade that will almost certainly suffer as a result of this donation. Thus far, the retail giant has yet to release a statement or comment addressing this most recent controversial donation. 


Right-Wingers Take On Target For Gay Pride Support

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In a move that will surprise no one, the anti-gay haters at Family Research Council and the American Family Association are trying to rally their troops against Target after the retailer introduced gay pride apparel.

"If they're looking to resonate with Americans, they ought to try defending marriage. According to voters, the country's still very opposed to redefining it," said FRC president Tony Perkins, willfully ignorant that the most recent polls show majority support for marriage equality.

As for AFA, president Tim Wildmon claims Target is "ramming same-sex marriage down the throats of the American people." He also provides a form letter for supporters to express their archaic ire to Target Chairman Gregg Steinhafel. It reads:

Dear Chairman Steinhafel,

Thirty-one states have overwhelmingly voted for constitutional amendments to protect marriage as only between one-man, one-woman. And your company does business in all of these states.

That's why I can't understand why Target would purposely choose to offend me by donating cash to support the Family Equality Council's push for legalizing homosexual marriage.

I urge you to reconsider this promotion and stop supporting a gay marriage campaign.

Otherwise, I will reconsider shopping at your stores and choose making my purchases from your competitors.

Shoot, between this and the One Million Moms boycott against J.C. Penney, pretty soon there will be nowhere for right-wingers to shop.


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.


Target Employees Made an 'It Gets Better' Video: WATCH

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LGBT Target employees talk about the bullying they experienced as kids.

And then you grow up and realize the anti-gay bully is just a corporate one. I suppose this clip is a good sign, but it's hard to miss the irony.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Target Employees Made an 'It Gets Better' Video: WATCH" »


Security Guard at Minneapolis' Target Field Tells Lesbian Couple Not to Kiss, and 'Adhere to Ten Commandments'

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A security guard at Minneapolis' Target Stadium told Taylor Campione and Kelsi Culpepper, a lesbian couple who briefly kissed as they separated to go to the bathroom at a Twins game, that they couldn't kiss.

Said the guard: "Here in the stadium we expect to adhere to the Ten Commandments."

WCCO reports:

They spoke to the manager and were not satisfied. They want a “zero tolerance policy at Target Field, and have filed a complaint with the State Human Rights Department. Twins spokesman Kevin Smith said the guard, who has worked for the organization for nearly a decade, has been reprimanded for his actions, but continues to work at the stadium.

Watch the report (video takes a few seconds to load), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Security Guard at Minneapolis' Target Field Tells Lesbian Couple Not to Kiss, and 'Adhere to Ten Commandments'" »


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