For years, Target has made a significant effort to reach out to the gay and lesbian community, sponsoring pride marches and AIDS walks, as well as offering domestic partner benefits to its homosexual employees. But the retail chain now finds itself in hot water after it donated $150,000 toward the election campaign of a anti-same-sex marriage gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota.
To be precise, Target gave the $150K to a PAC called MN Forward, which in turn is using the money to run ads for conservative candidate Tom Emmer, about whom TheAwl.com has said:
Emmer’s a candidate who isn’t just indifferent about gay rights; he’s outright hostile. Despite claiming to be for freedom and personal liberty, Emmer’s name appears on the author line of constitutional legislature “protecting” traditional marriage.
Some groups have called for a boycott of the Minneapolis-based chain.
For its part, Target maintains its “support of the GLBT community is unwavering, and inclusiveness remains a core value of our company.”
A rep for Target explained their reasoning thusly:
Target supports causes and candidates based strictly on issues that affect our retail and business interests. In fact, Target’s Federal PAC contributions year-to-date are very balanced between Republicans and Democrats, and we work collaboratively with legislators and officials at all points on the political spectrum.
It was also reported this week that Best Buy likewise gave $100,000 to MN Forward.
Real America: Why Target Supports Tom Emmer [TheAwl.com]