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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.


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'" »


Target CEO Hit with Questions About Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Political Giving at Annual Meeting

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel was hammered with questions about its political donations to MN Forward on Wednesday and its support of an amendment banning same-sex marriage in Minnesota at the company's annual meeting in Pittsburgh, Reuters reports:

Steinhafel Bill de Blasio, New York City public advocate and trustee of the New York City employees retirement system, which holds about $50 million in Target shares, said on Tuesday that he is "deeply concerned" when he sees those pension investments used unwisely.

A number of shareholders at Wednesday's meeting echoed his comments, repeatedly asking Steinhafel about the donation. Target has changed its review process for donations since the MN Forward donation, but some shareholders would like to see a more explicit apology and broader change from the company.

"Last year was a great learning experience for us," Steinhafel said as he repeatedly suggested moving onto a different topic.

"Does anybody have a question relating to our business that is unrelated to political giving? I would love to hear any question related to something else," Steinhafel said.

When asked specifically about the  marriage amendment, Steinhafel said, "Our position at this particular time is that we are going to be neutral on that particular issue, as we would be on other social issues that have polarizing points of view...We're a retail store, we welcome everybody...We have a broad team-member base, every shape and size and color. And so we are a very inclusive organization...We're going to continue to monitor, we're going to continue to assess, and see how that develops."


Target Loses Case Against Marriage Equality Petitioners

Grassroots activist group Canvass for a Cause has won a case against Target Corporation after the retailing giant tried to stop the group from petitioning outside its stores. Court documents suggested Target was worried that the volunteers were making it look like the corporation supports equality for gays and lesbians.

Cfac_target San Diego Gay & Lesbian News reports:

Superior Court Judge Jeffrey B. Barton released his ruling this afternoon, denying Target’s motion for an injunction to stop CFAC from petitioning customers.

During the hearing on March 25, CFAC contended that its right to free speech was being challenged by the lawsuit, while Target claimed the grass-roots group’s tactics were harming its business.

Tres Watson, executive director of CFAC, said he was thrilled with the ruling.

“This was not just a victory for the LGBT community,” Watson said, “but a victory for everybody who supports the fundamental American values to free speech.”

Watson said he expects Target will appeal the ruling.

Last month, Lady Gaga dissolved a deal with Target because of their anti-LGBT giving policies. Those policies came to light during last year's election cycle when the corporation made sizable donations to MN Forward, an a conservative  PAC which funded campaign commerials for anti-gay gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. 


Target Sues to Keep Activist Group from Canvassing for Marriage Equality Outside its Stores

I mentioned this recently in one of my news round-ups, but today a case is set to begin in San Diego in which Target Corporation will face off against activists who want to petition for marriage equality outside its stores.

San Diego Gay and Lesbian News reports: Cfac_target

On Friday morning, Superior Court Judge Jeffrey B. Barton will listen to arguments from both sides after Minnesota-based Target Corp. sued the San Diego-based Canvass For A Cause (CFAC) to prevent the grass-roots activist group from gathering petition signatures in front of its stores in California.

The fundamental American right to free speech is at the heart of this case, said Tres Watson, executive director of CFAC who is a San Diego resident.

In an earlier court date on March 8, Judge Barton denied a motion by Target’s attorneys seeking a temporary restraining order against CFAC. Barton ruled that the right of free speech trumps over the business interest of Target in refusing the request.

Court documents suggest Target is worried that the volunteers are making it look like the corporation supports equality for gays and lesbians.

CFAC volunteers also note that other groups are also talking to customers outside Target, including veterans organizations and Girl Scouts. Watson wonders whether Target wants to pick and choose which groups it allows outside its stores, and questions whether the corporation is showing bias against gay rights groups.


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