Target CEO Issues Apology, Explains Support Of Anti-Gay Politician To Employees

We recently wrote about Target being on the hot seat with some people after the company donated $150,000 to be used for the campaign of a Minnesota gubernatorial candidate who is vocally against gay marriage. Today, in a memo sent to employees at Target HQ, CEO Gregg Steinhafel explains the company’s actions and issues a semi apology.

The text of the memo, forwarded to us by a Consumerist reader, is below:

Dear Target Leaders,

I have heard from many of you, and our team members, over the past week regarding Target’s contribution to MN Forward, and I appreciate your engagement and candor, both of which clearly demonstrate your loyalty and passion for our company.

In situations like this, it is often difficult to find the right words, but I would like to respond with the same honesty you have shown me.

The intent of our political contribution to MN Forward was to support economic growth and job creation. While I firmly believe that a business climate conducive to growth is critical to our future, I realize our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry.

We remain fully committed to fostering an environment that supports and respects the rights and beliefs of all individuals. The diversity of our team is an important aspect of our unique culture and our success as a company, and we did not mean to disappoint you, our team or our valued guests.

Going forward, we will soon begin a strategic review and analysis of our decision-making process for financial contributions in the public policy arena. And later this fall, Target will take a leadership role in bringing together a group of companies and partner organizations for a dialogue focused on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including GLBT issues.

Thank you for sharing your input and for your continued commitment to making Target an even stronger company.


Gregg Steinhafel

Chairman, President & CEO


Edit Your Comment

  1. TKOtheKDR says:

    Why should he have to apologize?!? People *ARE* allowed to opposed the gay agenda. If consumers don’t agree with it, they can shop somewhere else.

    • drizzt380 says:

      He’s apologizing so they don’t go shop somewhere else.

      He’s a man of business not pride.

      • PunditGuy says:

        He’s specifically apologizing to his workers so they aren’t incredibly demotivated. The customer audience is secondary.

        Sure, people can oppose or support whatever they want. But if you’re a corporation that values inclusiveness and you end up supporting discrimination, there are bound to be consequences.

        Personally, I think the apology is a good thing — it drives home the point that there was something to be ashamed about.

    • godai says:

      I believe it’s more the fact that Target makes claims like:

      “For its part, Target maintains its “support of the GLBT community is unwavering, and inclusiveness remains a core value of our company.” (from original article)

      And supports anti-gay candidates.

      It’s not that they can’t oppose it, they just can’t have their cake and eat it too.

      • HeyThereKiller says:

        It’s pronounced ‘cock’


      • Megalomania says:

        Gay marriage is not anywhere near as important an issue as other “rights” issues have been in the past. It is not worth voting against a candidate simply because they oppose it. If Obama had been against gay marriage, would you have voted for McCain (or the opposite, although he might have well been anyway)? In a two party system, how bad does the “other guy” have to be for you to vote for someone who is against gay marriage? For target, they went with someone who they support on most issues, but they are on the record as not being fans of EVERYTHING the guy does.

        Target is a company. They have no reason to be against gay marriage. They do have a reason to be pro low taxes. Don’t make this into something it isn’t

        • SunnyLea says:

          “Gay marriage is not anywhere near as important an issue as other “rights” issues have been in the past.”

          Oh, I didn’t know there were rankings.

          • Megalomania says:

            there are. Some things are basic human rights, or fundamental issues of equality. Would you compare the civil rights movement or women’s suffrage with same sex marriage? It is not as major an issue, period. Gay marriage is not leading to the wholesale disenfranchisement of a part of the population, and a politician having views against it does not make their entire platform repugnant.

            Again, just how bad would the other candidate have to be before you would vote for him? you do not get to pick and choose the issues the person you vote for supports. I would vote for virtually any candidate who was willing to address the non-viability of social security. They might not agree with my views on other topics, but those are the breaks. you can either pretend that money was donated towards one cause you hate or recognize that that isn’t how the world works and get over it. your move.

            • three says:

              gay marriage is only one of the issues.

              lgbt people are still being discriminated against throughout the nation; unfortunately, some states offer more protection to the lgbt community than others.

        • psiphiorg says:

          “If Obama had been against gay marriage…”

          He is. All four of the major candidates (President and VP) in 2008 had the same position on that particular issue.

    • Gandalf the Grey says:

      Target has been a strong supporter of GLBT rights. He is apologizing because they made a donation that on the surface would seem to be opposite of the culture they have been trying to cultivate.

      I’m often split on politics. No one party has all of the answers, or even most of the answers. People, and corporations, usually have to try and choose between which issue is more important to pick a candidate. In this case, it was pro business, or pro gay rights. Since they can’t be pro gay rights if they go out of business, I would have to say I would have made the same choice.

      • PunditGuy says:

        The notion that they would “go out of business” if a DFL or IP candidate wins the governorship is completely ridiculous. Utterly. Thoroughly.

        • Dory says:

          Yes, can you imagine how Target would survive if they had to pay marginally higher taxes in Minnesota? The entire multinational organization would just collapse! How can they manage without Minnesota?!

        • Gandalf the Grey says:

          While the wording may be a bit extreme, the principal stands.

          If they pay more in taxes, they have less money to use to support other causes.

    • zegota says:

      Um, exactly? He’s apologizing so that those consumers continue to shop there.

      Also, the term “gay agenda” is incredibly infuriating. That’s like calling a demand for equal pay the “woman agenda,” or opposing slavery in the 1800s the “black agenda.”

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        Nonsense. Within any community (in this case, gay community) there are activists. Activists that look to have power swing in their favor (in this case, those with less power than heteros). Activists engage in Activism, which requires an Agenda to stay organized, for a unified front.

        It’s unfortunate to see perfectly good words get turned into pejoratives just because Rush “Oxy” Limbaugh uses it.

        The Applekid agenda? Every third item on the list involves alcohol of some kind.

      • ablestmage says:

        In this sense, “gay agenda” refers to broad changes in thinking, not necessarily the deliberate kind. It’s not to say that gays have an agenda, as if they all gathered together in a convention and devised plans to make something come about. When used by Christians, it generally refers to larger spiritual matters and powers that affect changes in thinking that aren’t governed by conscious decisions of people, but just gradual and subtle changes in common ways of thinking.

        • Dory says:

          How utterly disingenuous. The point to the term isn’t to describe it in clear terms, it’s to discredit the movement by making it appear sinister and foreign and otherwise an imposition upon the Good Hardworking Christian People Of America.

          • DingoAndTheBaby says:

            +1. While the definition of “agenda” is itself innocuous, the term when applied to some sort of “movement” implies sinister motives or subversive tendencies against another individual or group. Used in this context, the more slang, colloquial definition applies.

            • Spider Jerusalem says:

              I disagree its innocuous. “Agenda” means “plan”. Which, when talking about a group of people, and assuming all the people in a group have agreed to that plan, means “conspiracy”. Its a very deliberate term.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            I’ve never met one that was “good,” “hardworking” only in the loosest sense of the word, and less “people” than animals, running in fear of some imaginary predator in the sky.

    • jbandsma says:

      People are customers. Employees are people. PEOPLE are allowed to oppose gay marriage (there is no ‘agenda’). Those of us who do not oppose equal rights for all should not have to support the bigots or help them become lawmakers.

      He made the decision to use MY money to elect someone I wouldn’t care to speak to. He used his employees money (they shop there, too) for the same reason. Yes, he owes us all an apology in the same way he would owe an apology if he had donated money to elect a member of the Klan.

      • obits3 says:

        “MY money”
        1.You buy something from Target using “money.”
        2. You receive a product in return.
        3. The “money” you used is NOT YOUR MONEY ANYMORE!!!

        We could debate about companies funding politics, but please don’t try to say that money that you gave in return for a good or service is still your money after the transaction has been completed.

        • BettyCrocker says:

          My future money is and it might not be spent at a place that doesn’t support equal rights for everyone.

      • leprechaunshawn says:

        What “equal rights” are you talking about? If you’re talking about the “right” to gay marriage can you please direct me to where in the Bill of Rights it mentions that homosexuals have the right to marry each other?

        • Im Just Saying says:

          The Bill of Rights doesnt cover heterosexual marriage either….

        • dolemite says:

          Can you show me where it says they aren’t? Now, keep in mind, you must point it out to me in the Constitution, not a Bible.

        • DingoAndTheBaby says:

          Wow…you really set yourself up for that one.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          Equal rights means having the same rights as everyone else. Heterosexual couples have the right to marry their significant other and gain all of the legal benefits attached to marriage. Equal rights for homosexual couples means giving them the same rights that heterosexual couples have.

          • Snoofin says:

            Homosexuals can marry if they want to. They arent being denied. Just marry someone of the opposite sex. Im sorry but once you choose to become gay you choose to take the bumps that come along with that choice. Being gay is much different than being Asian,Black, Latino, Indian etc… They deserve equal rights because they cant decide where they are born or what ethnicity they are, but a person can decide if they want to be gay or not.

            • FigNinja says:

              And why should any lumps from the state come from being gay? I understand social disapproval. People have a right to believe homosexuality is wrong. Why is it acceptable to codify that into law?

              • Snoofin says:

                You just dont get it. There wouldnt be any lumps if they wouldnt make the choice to be gay. If they made a law that said people who wear green shirts cant drive a car, then people would just stop wearing green shirts so they arent impacted.

                • Benjamin says:

                  Gosh, you’re right! I wonder why people would possibly choose to subject themselves to so much legal and societal discrimination! What are they, crazy?

                  Or could it possibly be that sexuality isn’t a conscious choice? Nah, couldn’t be!

                  • idip says:

                    He’s just a troll, not worth the time. *shakes head*

                    But to his point… I didn’t know every straight person walks around attracted to both sexes and they have to ALWAYS make the choice to act only on the opposite sex, seems so complicated, lol.

                  • Snoofin says:

                    No they are attention seekers who like to stir the pot and draw attention to themselves so they can feel important

                • Kryndar says:

                  Okay, let us, as Akuma X did, assume for the sake of argument that being gay is a full on choice, no other elements other than one’s desire to be gay are involved. Using your green shirt argument, yes they could just choose not to be gay, BUT, just because you can choose not to do something because you lose rights does not mean that laws organizing the removal of those rights are a good or just thing.
                  Let us say that you choose to believe that being gay is a choice. Let us say that there is a law saying that you are not allowed in public parks if you believe that being gay is a choice. You can simply choose to stop beleiving that being gay is a choice but you should not have to do it to gain entry to a public park.

                • hattrick says:

                  Yep, and like I said to Martin Luther King, if they’d all just stopped being so black, they could drink at the water fountains and have rights!

                  Stupid minorities. How dare they demand basic rights of citizenship? Don’t they know they are different in a way I don’t like? They’re SO intolerant to demand rights. What about my right to deny them rights simply because I don’t like them?

                • YouDidWhatNow? says:

                  …I noticed you ignored an earlier post asking about what kind of thought process you went through when you chose to be straight.

                  Can you tell us about how you wrangled with the decision of whether or not to be gay? What research did you do? How did you feel about the process? Were social and legal issues part of your concerns when you ultimately decided not to be gay?

                  Please…do tell.

                  • Snoofin says:

                    There is no decision to become straight. Everyone is born straight which is why its called being normal.

            • Dory says:

              Gosh, you’re just adorable! I want to buy a pretty pink bicycle with pom-poms at the end of the handlebars and a little white wicker basket and put you in it and we’ll go down to the shore and it’ll be so sweet. :D :D :D

            • Akuma X says:

              Let’s say for a moment I’m a complete idiot and think that being gay is a choice, and gay people aren’t just born gay; based on that “choice” to be gay, what other rights should gay people have taken away from them besides the right to marry whomever they wish as long as that whomever is a consenting adult?

              If I choose to have anal sex with a woman, instead of vaginal, should I lose the right to drive? Or more analogous to the the prior statement in your comment, should I only have the right to drive down the streets as long as they are the streets you pre-approved?

              Now, before you follow up your previous ignorant statement with another one like “Marriage is between a man and a woman just like God intended or has always been.”, keep in mind that marriage for the vast majority of civilization has been between one man and several women. So by that equally insane theory we should not have roads at all because for a vast part of civilization there hasn’t been roads.

              Alternatively, a rebuttal consisting of “The definition of marriage in the dictionary is the union between a man and a woman, not two men or women.” Incorrect, the definition of marriage in most dictionaries, including Merriam-Webster, and the the Oxford Dictionary, the foremost authority on the English language, lists marriage as a union between two people, either opposite, or same sex. Let’s say though, regardless of that, it wasn’t in dictionaries as being a union between two members of the same sex, it could be added as a definition much the same way the word “blue” originally only meant the color, but then later updated to also mean sad.

              But by all means, don’t let logic and common sense stand in the way of bigotry.

            • ghostfire says:

              Do you remember choosing to be heterosexual? Did you weigh the benefits and and the risks and decide – yeah, I guess I’ll go with that opposite gender?

            • PunditGuy says:

              “Choice” really isn’t relevant to the discussion. Religion in a choice, but it’s also protected. If only Catholics could marry, under your logic, that would be fine. Baptists, after all, chose to be Baptists.

            • Sandaasu says:

              Someone who is homosexual has no choice in that matter. Period. Every reputable study on the subject is quite clear on this fact. Those of us who have seen homosexuals try to change their orientation can attest to that. Often with tears, due to the hate projected on them ending up becoming their own when they consider themselves broken because they cannot change, and end up taking their own lives.

              I suggest you learn about the world and change your bigoted ways. Your sort is going to be considered sad and pathetic by the next generation, just as the racists are now.For your own sake, I hope that you come to see the light.

            • TheSkaAssassin - College Man says:

              you forgot your troll face

            • Pax says:

              Homosexuality is not a choice.

              Who in their right mind would CHOOSE to be persecuted, hated, and denied basic human rights?

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          How about you direct us to where it stipulates that it can only ever possibly be applied to a man and a woman?

        • adamstew says:

          It’s called the equal protection clause of the constitution. It states:

          “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

          Basically, by creating a law that specifically excludes homosexuals from marrying, they aren’t applying the law equally amongst all people. One group of people can get legally married and get certain rights and protections under the law and then another group of people can not. They only way that they can exclude homosexuals from getting married is by excluding EVERYONE from getting married. It’s similar to creating a law that says “People who make over $1 million per year in income can’t be charged with murder.” That law would be ridiculous. And that law would only apply to people who make over a million dollars, so it would violate the equal protection clause of the constitution.

          • yusefyk says:

            I don’t think so. Homosexuals and lesbians have exactly the same right to marry as anyone else. It seems equal to me. They just couldn’t marry in the same gender, but no one can do that, so it’s equal.

            • LawGeek says:

              They tried that in Loving v. Virginia. “Black have the same right to marry their own race!” The Court dismissed that shoddy reasoning. The right to marry inherently means the right to marry the person of one’s choice.

            • Kryndar says:

              Let’s say hypothetically that only Christian marriages were allowed. Would that be fair and equal after all it doesn’t matter your own religious affiliation you are allowed to have a Christian marriage and since everyone is allowed the same thing it is equal and fair right?

            • fosterb says:

              Really? The consumerist is the right place to argue about about this crap (the thread, not the article!)? Keep it simple. Regardless of your personal beliefs, it was an issue important to people employed by that company. Isn’t that a good enough reason to reach out and address it? I think so.

            • adamstew says:

              That’s like saying that “Blacks and whites can’t marry each other. A black person can’t marry a white person, but that doesn’t matter because a white person can’t marry a black person. So it’s equal.”

              • therightquestion says:

                Say what you will, but the fact is, we have equal rights today. We aren’t being forced to sit in the back of the bus. We aren’t being prevented from exercising our right to vote. And, quite frankly, NO ONE is being prevented from marrying someone of the opposite sex. What the gay community is looking for is a new right – the right to marry someone of the same sex.

                You may not like the logic, but it is true. And while that does not mean we should not have same sex marriage, anyone prepared to wage an honest argument for it would recognize it is NOT an issue of equal rights.

          • shadowhh says:

            That is incorrect. See Marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s it. I am all for creating a word for the Same sex couples to join, and be the exact same thing as marriage. For the Sake of argument lets call a union between two of the same sex a Harriage. Completely equal under the law. But Marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman.

            So they would be the EXACT same thing. They should both be defined under the law as civil unionis. Civil unions between two of the same sex would be called Harriage, and opposite sex Marriage.

            • DH405 says:

              Marriage is between two people. Your particular religious book may disagree, but I don’t care because I don’t follow it. Your religious book cannot dictate my life. That’s part of this country’s foundation. If gays cannot marry, then I think hetero couples should not be able to marry. Convert all legal marriages to civil unions and then allow churches to declare who is “married” and who isn’t. Make the marriage thing their business. What’s important here is that the GOVERNMENT treats people equally.

              And yes, I’d happily start calling my wife my “Civil Partner” or whatever if this day came.

        • JMILLER says:

          Target POLICY is clear on gays. If you work there you know that going in to it. Those that work there and find they say one thing, but give money elsewhere have a right to think they are hypocritical.

        • Paladin_11 says:

          Come one, come all! Welcome to the great internet floating homosexual flame war!

          I think this issue would be easier to understand if you just removed the emotional baggage. Civil marriage is simply a contract between two people. What right does the state have to say that some people can enter a contract with each other but others can’t? The 14th Amendment says that the government cannot discriminate in this way. We haven’t always been good about obeying the Constitution, but eventually we manage to fumble around until we actually live up to its promises. This is just another instance of our coming to our senses and living up to both the spirit and the letter of the law. Gay people have the right to marry. It’s one of those self-evident truths spelled out by the founders. Just because we haven’t always recognized that right doesn’t make it any less true. We’re either all equal under the law or we’re not.

        • Pax says:

          Can you please direct me to whee in the entire Constitution, INCLUDING the Bill of Rights, where it says that HETEROSEXUALS have the right to marry?

        • Doubts42 says:

          1. the Constitution does not grant the right to marriage to any individual, gay or straight.
          2. The spirit of the constitution is laid out in the 2nd most important American document, The Declaration of Independence.
          “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

          That is all men, not all men except those damn dirty faggots. And it is the pursuit of happiness not the pursuit of whatever doesn’t make the uptight bigots uncomfortable.

      • XTC46 says:

        It stopped being your money when you gave it to them in exchange for the product that gave to you. He owes you nothing.

      • Doubts42 says:

        Wow entitled much? “MY money” How is it your money, you traded it away for goods or services, at that point it stopped being yours and you stopped having any say about it. Or can Target come in to your house and tell you to stop having sex on their sheets.

    • ablestmage says:

      The apology was addressed to leaders within the Target company, not customers — about using Target funds to support a traditionally ani-LGBT candidate whereas the company itself has been traditionally pro-LGBT explaining that while it may seem contrary to the pro-LGBT stance, it is beneficial to Target in stronger ways.

      He’s not apologizing to customers, as if to encourage their return business, nor is the letter a press release — it’s an internal company memo not meant for the public.

      • Griking says:

        Why should he have to apology to company leaders either?

        Would he have apologized to company leaders who are against gay marriage if he had donated to a politician that supported gay marriage?

    • grumpskeez says:

      Agreed and we’re doing exactly that.

    • BStu78 says:

      Yeah. THAT is why he is apologizing. Because he’d rather not have those consumers shop somewhere else.

    • SeattleSeven says:

      Just because people/companies *CAN* be bigots and jerks doesn’t mean that they should be.

      • bender123 says:

        Just because the tolerance crowd *CAN* be bigots and jerks doesn’t mean they should be, either…Just saying that if you are calling somebody a bigot, you better be sure you aren’t as well…

        Companies often donate to politicians they feel represent growth for their company…Even Obama received a lot of money from the oil companies he now vilifies…It doesnt mean they agree with everything a politician says, just the parts that benefit them.

        • Dory says:

          If you give money to a politician, you are supporting their entire platform, not just the bits you happen to agree with.

          As to “the tolerance crowd”, that’s adorable.

          • Charmander says:

            You make it sound like Target gave the money directly to the bigoted politician. It didn’t.

            • Spider Jerusalem says:

              They gave it to a PAC whose entire stated purpose was getting pro-business politicians elected, and IN THIS ELECTION, that means this asshole. That’s it. You can say the PAC is to blame because they didn’t vet the candidate they’re supporting, but the PAC probably either has no feelings about the LGBT community, or they tacitly agree with it, sincetheir particular pro-business stance is a fairly far-right-wing position in the first place.

              Not ALL right-wing positions are necessarily human rights abuses, but if Rand proved anything with the crash a couple years ago, its that its a mere hop, skip, and a jump from putting economic well-being first to putting human rights last.

          • NYGuy1976 says:

            how is giving money or voting for a candidate based on some issues and not all different. Because if thats the case, anyone who supported Obama supports the ban on same sex marriage. During debates both Obama and Biden said that they marriage is between a man and a woman. Are people who voted for Obama supporting bigoted views?

            • Dory says:

              You’re the only one talking about voting. My comment clearly refers to giving money, and in this case it’s giving money to a PAC, which is worlds apart from voting.

        • SeattleSeven says:

          Okay well I am not a bigot. I feel comfortable saying that. I’m not out to limit the rights of others just because I don’t like them.

          Isn’t up to the shareholders, employees and customers of a company to make sure that company is acting appropriately in every regard including political donations?

          No one is saying Target should not be allowed to donate money to a bigoted political cause. They are saying it is the wrong business decision for target to make. Clearly it has damaged employee morale, angered a customer base they are interested in retaining and upset some portion of their shareholders…

          A company has a responsibility to its shareholders to insure a return on their investment. This shouldn’t be confused with reckless growth for growth’s sake. A brand has value and they have damaged the value of that brand. Especially considering their fresh strategy of expanding into urban areas. (See new store opening soon in San Francisco and they just purchased space for one in downtown Seattle) These are communities that don’t take kindly to anti LGBT activities, accidental or otherwise.

        • MrEvil says:

          I’m a bigot. I’m bigoted against bigots. Also 99% of the human race.

        • bigTrue says:

          by your rationalization, anyone who told a KKK member back in the day they were wrong was also a bigot.

          Remember, if you are against gay/lesbian rights, its the same as somebody telling a black person they couldn’t drink from the same fountain. Great company you’re keeping.

      • davidc says:

        News Flash: The most intolerant group of people are the people that claim to promote tolerance.

        Tolerance Group: You should be tolerant of all view points.
        Tolerance Group: You view/opinon is different?
        Tolerance Group: Since you don’t agree with the Tolerance Agenda, I no longer tolerate your view/opinion and will do everything in my power to discredit your view/opinion.

        • PunditGuy says:

          A group that favors discrimination is more tolerant than a group that opposes the group that favors discrimination? You make my head hurt.

        • SeattleSeven says:

          Differing view points is wholly different from tolerating rights abuses.

          Should we tolerant of slave owners? The bible says it is okay. The constitution clearly was not meant to apply to blacks (or women) At the time slavery was outlawed it would have easily been deemed legal by a popular vote (in many states)

          Why should anyone be tolerant of the view point that it is okay to own other people?
          Because I believe in equal rights does not mean I have to tolerate bigotry or in this case, ignorance.

        • Dory says:

          Careful, you might trip and poke your eye out on one of those edgy edgy edges.

        • chimpski says:

          Your argument is specious.

          Should we be tolerant of murder?

          It is a slippery slope, but that is real life: things are complicated, not black or white. There are things people should not be asked to be tolerant of, for example:

          This does not mean I have any right to stop you from being or doing any of those things, but that doesn’t mean I’ll shut up about it.

          If you want to propagate your hatred, and I convince people that you are an asinine blowhard, then I may be able to stop anyone from listening to you. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean anyone has to listen to you.

        • crazedhare says:

          Shockingly, YES, pro-tolerance groups are unaccepting of untolerant views. Also, MADD is *against* drunk driving. See, people often do not like the thing they…said that……they do not…like. Got it?

          Your gotcha? It’s fail.

      • chimpski says:

        There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.

    • skakh says:

      Please explain the “gay agenda”! All I have heard from the anti-tolerance crowd is (1) they teach homosexuality in kindergarten (sorry but they don’t) and (2) allowing homosexuals to marry will destroy traditional marriage (WTF). My question to you is: why are you so afraid? Perhaps a bit of introspective thought would allow you to be a bit more tolerant? Now, go out and tune into Boss Limbaugh!

      • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

        It changes every day, but today I’ve got 1) Call the vet 2) Take the recycling out 3) clean out the garage. Oh, and 4) Undermine the integrity of each and every heterosexual marriage in the past, present and future by kissing my boyfriend when he stops by on the way to work.

      • osiris73 says:

        Actually… they DO sometimes teach it in school. My son’s pre-school actually read “Heather Has Two Mommies.” I was all for it, though.

        • Conformist138 says:

          They don’t teach kids to be gay, and that is the fear. They teach kids that some people are gay only so they understand that some of their friends might have two daddies or two mommies. They also teach kids about divorce so they understand about people with stepmoms or stepdads or getting new siblings.

          The funny thing is that this is just teaching kids about reality- if they don’t live that life, they will still likely meet someone who does. Somehow, this preparation for the variety in life has been construed as encouraging the behavior. Sad, really.

          It’s always good to see understanding and intelligent parents encouraging the same in their kids.

    • MMD says:

      Eventually, history will prove that in 2010, the last form of bigotry that people actually defended through activism was homophobia.

      Bigotry is bigotry.

    • wolf says:


    • kc2idf says:

      He has a business to run. People are offended by what the business did. Apologizing is a way to keep people happy so that the business continues to run. This is why he should have (and did) apologize.

      He claims that he did not intend to offend. Taking that claim at face value, when one offends and does not need to, one should apologize. This is why he should have (and did) apologize.

      Nobody ever said he had to apologize. This appears to have been his decision based on feedback he received to his actions. If he truly felt as strongly as you do, then he could have just been a stubborn SOB and refused.

  2. adlauren says:

    Business decision pure and simple. Target watched the public reaction and concluded that the bad press would cause more of a profit loss than any net gain the the MN Forward PAC could garner. It’s amazing how apolitical a decision like this can be.

  3. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Is it a semi apology because you don’t believe the excuse or is it a semi apology because it contradicts an earlier statement?

    • rhys1882 says:

      It’s a semi-apology because they are not apologizing for making the donation, they are sorry that the “decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate…” Basically it’s like saying I’m sorry you got offended at what I said.

      • Jeff-er-ee says:

        I guess I don’t see the problem with that. They go on to say that going forward they’ll change their practices to be more clear on what they’re buying with their political donation. What more do you want?

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        Basically it’s like saying I’m sorry you got offended at what I said.

        But he isn’t apologizing for how they think or feel about what happened, he apologized because they were affected. To me, that sounds like an acknowledgment that what they did had a negative consequence for them and not just saying that it’s the employee’s opinion that they were adversely affected.

  4. newfenoix says:

    They can support any damn politician that they want! I don’t shop at Target.

  5. Putts says:

    Yeah, this apology was completely unnecessary, and I’m rather disappointed that Target even acknowledged these clowns. Just because Target supports a candidate that doesn’t agree with them 100% on every issue doesn’t mean that they’re hypocrites. Just more examples of people raising a stink just because they can.

    • Gandalf the Grey says:


      In this case Target had to choose between pro business, or pro gay rights. Since they can’t be pro gay rights if they go out of business, I would have to say I would have made the same choice.

      • Dieflatermous says:

        Slavery vs paying people for work was a great business choice too, by your thinking.

        • Gandalf the Grey says:

          The difference is that pushing for lower taxes is not morally wrong.

          Opposing gay marriage is not morally wrong, misguided yes, but not morally wrong.

        • dumpsterj says:

          many people are still slaves. if you make just enough to “live” are you any better than a slave ?

      • PunditGuy says:

        The notion that they would “go out of business” if a DFL or IP candidate wins the governorship is completely ridiculous. Utterly. Thoroughly.

        If you get to repeat yourself, then so do I.

    • xxmichaelxx says:

      Target is supporting a candidate financially who strongly endorses a view they themselves have repeatedly claimed to be against. Yes, an explanation is in order, both to the general public and to shareholders.

    • Shadowfire says:

      Calling bullshit on this. He is not apologizing to us, he’s apologizing to his employees, and it was absolutely called for. When a company goes out of its way to say it supports the LGBT community, then makes a political contribution to a very anti-LGBT group, they look like assholes. When many of their employees are in that category, it sends them a mixed message. Those employees then absolutely have a right to question the donation, partially because it doesn’t jive with the corporate culture, and partially because those employees are responsible for the profits that go into the donation. So don’t say this was a needless apology; it was absolutely needed and deserved for those employees.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        They didn’t make a contribution to a very anti-GLBT group. They contributed to a very pro-business PAC.

        • Dory says:

          The Minnesota Independent has connected a few dots which show otherwise. Even if he isn’t anti-gay himself, he sure has a lot of friends who are.

          • Spider Jerusalem says:

            He is very anti-gay himself. Almost a parody of a right-wing homophobe, really.

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

            That is about the candidate. Nothing about the PAC. How many degrees of separation exist between any donation, and something seedy?

        • JMILLER says:

          I wonder how you feel about hit men? I only gave the guy money to take care of the person I don;t like. I didn’t actually KNOW what he was going to do. Is your position that Target gives $150k to groups that support candidates, but does not know which candidates that will involve? A shareholder would call that incompetence and fiduciary irresponsibility.

      • BDSanta2001 says:

        THIS is the reply I want to write to each person who asks why he went through the motions of an apology. They can’t tout themselves as being pro-LGBT and then donate to homophobic clowns. One negates the other.

      • Southern says:

        I call Bullshit on your Bullshit. :)

        He very clearly stated that the donation was to support the candidates stance on ECONOMIC growth, not his social one.

        So target is supposed to support “The Other Guy”, even though he may be running on a platform that says “My main goal is to shut down all big box retailers!”??

        (I have no idea what the oppositions platform is, just using an extreme example).

        I swear, you can’t do anything in this country any more without offending SOMEBODY and having to apologize for it.

        • Dory says:

          “He very clearly stated that the donation was to support the candidates stance on ECONOMIC growth, not his social one.”

          Wow, uh.

          That’s not how politics works. When you give money to a candidate, you are supporting every plank in their platform: it’s not an a-la-carte thing where you get to pick and choose. Even if you give money with the explicit intention to only support their stance on, say, turtle racing, it’s not like he’s going to limit himself to that area once he’s in office.

          • Southern says:

            So if BOTH candidates are anti-LGBT, they’re just not supposed to support either one?

            Or they’re supposed to support the LGBT one, and then piss off the Anti-Abortion activists because the LGBT candidate supports abortion? Or maybe they’ll upset LULAC because the candidate is against illegal immigration?

            A corporation is going to support the candidate that will be the best candidate for their BUSINESS.

            This is why I said that they just can’t win for losing – they’re going to piss off SOMEBODY, and then wind up apologizing for it.

            Personally, I’ve always felt that campaign contributions of any type should be illegal, period.

            • Dory says:

              If you want to characterize yourself as pro-LGBT, then yes, you shouldn’t support an anti-LGBT candidate, even in cases where both candidates are anti-LGBT. If you do so, others will rightly call you a hypocrite.

              Your argument re: “you can give money to a candidate which will only support part of their platform” remains ludicrous.

              Besides, let us consider that standing by a given community and building loyalty to it can ultimately bring you substantially better business (or, as you seem to spell it, BUSINESS) than supporting a candidate who might theoretically reduce your taxes in a single state by a marginal percentage if he can get the legislature to agree with him–and burning your bridges with such a community by funding a candidate who explicitly opposes them will cost you substantially more than you’ll make back in such a tax cut.

              You were saying about how business should always come first?

          • Datruth says:

            That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard. How utterly naive. President Obama, himself, has said publicly –and more than once– that he defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. So any Gay/Lesbian who voted for him agrees with that plank? Seriously…get an intelligence grip. What you said is laughable.

            • Dory says:

              When you’re done putting words in my mouth, you’ll notice that I very clearly put my comment in the context of giving money to a candidate and said nothing at all about voting.

              Voting is a situation in which you must decide between the options available. Under such circumstances, it is acceptable to hold your nose and take the bad with the good, as the GLBT community appears to have done with Obama.

              Donating to a PAC–which is what everyone but you is talking about–is completely different. It’s entirely voluntary, there are thousands of PACs to choose from (so surely at least ONE of them must suit your interests in a fairly comprehensive fashion) and if you can’t find one that suits your needs, someone with the wealth and might of an organization like Target can certainly found their own.

              They’re miles apart, and conflating the two doesn’t actually undermine my argument.

      • Doubts42 says:

        Except he shouldn’t have to apologize for being able to see the big picture. that is his job as CEO. The big picture is that target HAS done quite a bit in the name of diversity. Target want’s to continue doing even more. They also want to make a profit (I know, in this administration businesses that want to make profits for the shareholders are bad guys) To do that they need an, if not friendly, at least non hostile environment. So they supported a candidate that is not going to work against them and tax them and their customer base out of existence.
        The big picture also lets him see the direction the country is already going and that 1 more homophobic congressman is not going to change that tide anyhow.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Just more examples of people raising a stink just because they can.

      No, you just disagree with why people complained. Not agreeing with someone’s reasoning is not the same thing as the other side not having a reason.

    • wolf says:


  6. Spider Jerusalem says:

    I just hope people don’t break the boycott until he demonstrates he’s serious. Yes, he can put his money where he wishes. I just think its ridiculous when people get up in arms over boycotts, and indignant when they work.

    • CuriousGeorge113 says:

      What’s interesting is that the religious right has been boycotting Target for years because of their support of gay & lesbian causes.

      This just goes to show that you can’t do anything right when it comes to politics.

      • Dory says:

        Sure you can. Businesses really have three choices:
        1) You can try your best to be magnanimous and friendly to all groups without endorsing any of them, which works so long as nobody forces you to make a tough choice.
        2) You can have principles and hope to build loyalty within specific groups at the expense of potentially alienating others. This only works so long as you’re consistent.
        3) Stay out of it and avoid the issue altogether.

        All three strategies work in different ways and are suited to different situations. Target tried door number 2 and did okay for a while, but they may have just blown it.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      I agree. Lets show them how to support the LGBT community by making it so they have to lay off some of them and cut the benefits to the remaining ones domestic partners! Lets also stop funding those Pride parades. I mean, what is the downside to this boycott. Well besides those things,.

      • Spider Jerusalem says:

        They make donations to Pride, they don’t bankroll the whole thing. Gays have money, and even when they didn’t, they still made it work. Gays are motivated activists, and they don’t need a corporate sugardaddy, though they certainly appreciate one.

        And if Target finds itself in the position of having to lay people off because of a boycott that springs from their refusal to make good on their lip service, then their business model deserves to fail.

        Sorry, objections are not viable in this situation, SteveDave.

  7. mvd121 says:

    WOW, you’re calling gays who want equal rights an ‘agenda.” you’re whats wrong with most of the people in this country.

    • Stannous Flouride says:

      Not ‘most’ just an extremely vocal minority.
      Over and over again polls have shown that most people in the US support equality under the law.

      It’s all in the phrasing:
      Do you believe that GLBT people should be treated equally under the law?
      vs. the right-wing’s:
      Do you believe a gay agenda (or whatever) is undermining America?

      • TehLlama says:

        Can I answer yes to both and be branded anything other than a homophobe?

        • Dory says:

          No. Belief in a coherent “homosexual agenda” which stretches any further than broad acceptance and integration is an inherently homophobic belief, and if you hold the opinion that broad acceptance of homosexuals is undermining America, that’s the very definition of homophobia.

      • kajillion123 says:

        Every time it has been put to a vote the American people have chosen to deny gay people the basic human right to marry the person they love. this is not a “vocal minority.”

    • sonneillon says:

      It is an agenda. I agree with their agenda and think that 2 people should have the right to marry, but agreeing with it does not change that that is their set of goals, their mission statement, their agenda. I think agenda carries too much of a negative connotation even though every single man woman and child capable of rational thought has an agenda.

  8. common_sense84 says:

    Too bad, I hope your bottom line suffers greatly.

    If you really cared about job creation, you would not donate to republican anything.

    • adlauren says:

      Making sweeping generalizations like that doesn’t exactly lend credibility to your message. Not looking for a flame war..just some friendly advice.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      So you hope that people lose benefits for their domestic partners and that Pride parades don’t get funded?

      That’s a very bigoted attitude.

  9. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    I don’t feel a company that offers domestic partner benefits and funds Pride parades has to apologize for an indirect contribution. This is a single issue reaction, and boycotting a company like this can result in harm to the GLBT community if it means lay offs or benefit reductions.

    • herbie says:


    • NTC-Brendan says:

      Steve just hit it out of the park. AGAIN.

    • KyleOrton says:

      Seriously. Do you know how cost prohibitive it is to buy a customized politician?

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        I’m from NJ. Of course I do. I even know how many No-bid contracts you need to accomplish it as well.

    • Kitten Mittens says:


    • JMILLER says:

      How about they give directly to their candidate instead of hiding behind a PAC. The candidate is a right wing nut job PERIOD. If you directly or indirectly give money to this douche you deserve to be boycotted. I personally believe corporation should not be allowed to give any money in the political process. Corporations are NOT people despite what the Supreme Court seems to think. Their function is to be a business.

  10. youbastid says:

    I have been so pissed off about this boycott since day 1. Target has demonstrated its support of the LGBT community by extending marriage benefits to same sex couples for years, at a cost of MILLIONS. AFAIK there are NO other big box stores that do the same. They are not only paying a lot extra to do this, but they also risked getting boycotted by their biggest money base, the red staters. If that isn’t standing up for what’s right, I don’t know what is.

    And after donating $150,000 to a PAC for strictly business reasons, people not only held a boycott but acted so entitled that they went into stores and harassed the employees and put videos of it on youtube.

    As much as I support marriage equality, the activists certainly could have chosen a better battle. There wasn’t really any boycott of Best Buy, who donated to the same campaign and has no such policy towards its employees.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      ::slow clap::

      Wouldn’t it be ironic if they harassed a GLBT employee about how they are anti-GLBT?

    • leastcmplicated says:

      Just FYI its not like Target is the only company that offers partner benfits… I work for a non profit that offers partner benefits… so clap them on the back for offering partner benefits that thousands of other companies also offer. And Walmart also offers domestic partner benefits,

      83% of Fortune 100 companies offer it
      59% of Fortune 500
      40% of Fortune 1000

      People are boycotting Best Buy

      just fyi

      • youbastid says:

        There are a few people boycotting Best Buy. That group has 10% of what the Target group has, and there has been little outcry about it. Just fyi.

        As far as Walmart goes, “Although some soft benefits are available to same-sex partners of employees, the company does not extend health insurance benefits to domestic partners except where required by law.” source:

        Also, via hrc, in the 2010 corporate equality index Walmart was rated at 40% for employee equality where Target scored 100%.

        The majority of these other companies that offer benefits often offer the bare minimum or as required by law. Target extended FULL benefits in the exact same manner they extend them to straight married couples.

        • leastcmplicated says:

          more people shop at target no wonder more people are going to boycott it.
          I was just pointing out that there are other big box companies that offer it, not to mention a plethora of other companies that offer it. People boycott things they feel strongly about and supporting a politician that is against gay marriage is something people feel strongly about. If I find a company giving money to anything that I dont agree with then I’ll stop buying from that company. How can you do all the right things for GLBT issues within your company and then give to an anti-gay politician? It’s a stupid move on Target’s part and there are other causes that help the economy and dont support hate.

          • youbastid says:

            Again, they didn’t give to an anti-gay politician. They gave to a PAC. This PAC’s “Action” part is about creating jobs. They endorse whoever they think will create the most jobs. Like I said above, they have also endorsed democratic candidates. They endorse and donate based on ONE issue. The issue that they donate on is based on job creation.

            You can boycott whoever you want, but I can call that boycott completely misguided. I HATE defending large corporations but Target has done far more good than harm to the LGBT community and it’s being vilified by them. This boycott does nothing but shoot themselves in the foot.

    • JJEagleHawk says:

      Best Buy does, or at least they did the last time I was eligible for full-time benefits (2003ish). Now that I’m part-time, I don’t see the paperwork every year. But I’m pretty sure they still do.

    • sirwired says:

      A $150k donation to a PAC that supports something the company officially does not is hypocrisy at it’s highest. You can’t say you support GBLT rights on one hand, and then give $150k to a group dedicated to reducing them on the other and simply make it go away by waving your hand and calling it “business reasons.” If they didn’t support what the PAC stood for, they should not have made the donation, no matter how useful the congresscritters it bought would have been.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Show me where this PAC has a history of being anti-LGBT rights.

        • Dory says:

          The PAC endorses and funds candidates who are anti-LGBT. Funding the PAC is therefore funding anti-LGBT candidates.

          • youbastid says:

            The transitive property does not apply here. Just because A = B and B = C does not mean A = C. That PAC is solely about job creation and also endorses some democratic candidates.

            • Dory says:

              I’m not making a transitive argument, I’m stating simple fact. Money (Target’s) goes in one end and comes out the other (The pockets of this anti-LGBT guy.), therefore Target’s money is partially funding an anti-LGBT candidate.

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

            Show me the history. And by history, I don’t mean one occurrence.

            • Dory says:

              “The history”?

              I’ve shown you evidence that at least one candidate funded by this PAC is homophobic. That’s all I’ve said: target is funding a PAC which is funding a homophobic candidate. I have no intention of providing “history” to back up things I haven’t said.

              • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

                Exactly ONE candidate. You claimed there was more than one. Who are the others. Obama was anti-gay marriage as well. Does that mean people who funded their campaign are anti-GLBT rights?

                • Dory says:

                  It means that if they go around crowing about how they support LGBT rights as a top priority, it was hypocritical to donate to Obama instead of someone like Clinton, yes.

                  If you’re not someone who has routinely celebrated how much you support LGBT issues, then it’s not nearly as problematic.

                • Dory says:

                  What, we’re doing semantics now?

                  The word “candidates” in the sentence “the PAC endorses and funds candidates who are anti-LGBT. Funding the PAC is therefore funding anti-LGBT candidates.” is intended to refer to what appears to be an accepted practice at the PAC (that being homophobic is seen as an acceptable trait when selecting individuals to receive disbursements of PAC money), and in this context the word “candidates” is not necessarily a plural.

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

            Can I ask if you donated to the Democrats ever? If so, you supported Barack Obama. Obama said during the election that he would not redefine from a civil side what constitutes marriage, and would leave it up to the faiths. So if you supported the Democrats or voted for Obama, YOU are anti-gay marriage.

            • JMILLER says:

              Which is one of a number of reasons I did not vote for Obama nor give money to the republican lite party (democrats).

            • Dory says:

              I’ve been very careful to draw a distinction between donating money to PACs and voting for candidates. Donating money to a PAC is a fully voluntary act and can be done to any of thousands of PACs in the United States: one of them must meet with you on the issues, and in the case of an organization with the resources of Target, if none of them DO square with you to your complete satisfaction, you can found your own.

              Voters, on the other hand, are limited to the names on the ballot. You don’t have to take the best of a bad lot when you give to a PAC because you have that wide selection to choose from, a flexibility you don’t have in the polling booth. We might also consider that, in cases where one party would punch you twice while another is content to punch you once and leave it at that, it would be very understandable for you to settle for the latter while still pressing for no fisticuffs whatsoever.

              Nice job shoving words in my mouth, though.

        • jasonq says:

          Well, the PAC is staffed by former Pawlenty hacks – i.e. Republicans. While this doesn’t guarantee they’re anti-GLBT, it certainly ups the probability of such by an order of magnitude.

          Also, it’s worth pointing out that until this whole kerfuffle arose, Emmer was the only candidate that MN Forward was endorsing. They just announced a slate of new endorsements yesterday. Coincidence?

          Tidbit: The Democrat running against Emmer, Mark Dayton, is a former senator and member of the Dayton family, founders of…Target.

          If trends hold, none of this will matter in the long run – Emmer is trailing by a fair margin, and while he may win his primary, is unlikely to win in November.

      • youbastid says:

        The PAC does not support something the company officially does not. The PAC endorses a candidate that supports some things the company officially does not.

        This is why it made complete sense to me when people boycotted restaurants and business out here that donated to campaigns in support of prop 8. They made a financial contribution that DIRECTLY implied their negative stance on equal marriage rights.

        This is a lot murkier, and when looking for answers, one should look to their corporate policy and see that it’s clear that they were not giving money to this PAC because they are against equal rights.

  11. sirwired says:

    The company I work for (A nearly $100B Fortune 50 corp you have all most certainly heard of) has an ironclad worldwide corporate policy of ZERO political donations. If you make a political contribution on the company’s behalf, you will be fired. It’s that simple. No PACs, no soft money, no ‘nuthin. We lobby to influence legislation on our behalf (as does every large company) but will not contribute to campaigns. (Of course, employees are more than welcome to contribute their own personal funds in their own name, but such expenses will explicitly not be reimbursed under any circumstances.)

    This makes me kind of glow with pride…

    • Dory says:

      And it’s a sensible policy, but it doesn’t grant immunity. A few years back the CEO of Manhunt got himself rolled when it was discovered he was a Republican. No shenanigans with the company books, no donations on the company’s behalf, strictly personal donations and presence at fundraisers in his private capacity. The company itself also took it on the chin (pardon the wordplay).

  12. Promethean Sky says:

    I don’t think Target owes anyone and apology. Delivering an EXPLANATION for their actions is in everyone’s best interest though, which they have done. It is virtually impossible to find a candidate that will agree with all your views, the best you can do is find the one that most strongly advocates your general position.

    • Dory says:

      No, you’re right: apologies are for the weak. Target should just let those bad feelings fester and worsen, especially amongst LGBT employees who feel deep-seated betrayal over it.

  13. ninjapoodles says:

    I understood what was meant by “they used my money.” Yes, once I give it to them in exchange for goods, it’s theirs. But since I *did* give it to them, I have, essentially, helped fund whatever it is that they spend on. This is why I switched dentists a few years ago–I found out that the dentist I went to was our community’s largest contributor to a politician who I found extremely objectionable. That’s his right, to support whoever he wants, but I saw no reason that I should *help* him to do that. Same with Target. They will contribute to whatever cause they decide to, but I can at least not HELP them do that, by withholding “my money.”

    • lumberg says:

      You seem to have an incorrect idea of how business works. Those products you purchased cost Target money. You are reimbursing them money, plus giving them extra to cover other expenses such as employee wages, advertising, and so on. Yes, in a perfect business world there would still be some small amount of profit left over for the company to do with as it pleases, but the bottom line is that the money you spend was used for goods and services.

      You are free to withhold your money if you don’t like the organizations or political figures that a company supports (I think companies should stay OUT of political affiliations of any kind), but don’t try to twist it around to somehow say that the money you spend at Target went to support a politician you don’t agree with.

      If you were a shareholder of Target or if you had donated money to help Target raise funds for various causes, I’d probably say differently. But if you’re just a shopper, then the chances you helped with this donation are slim to none.

      • psm321 says:

        Target got the money to spend on a donation from somewhere. Are you saying that somewhere is not from people purchasing things?

        • lumberg says:

          Customers are not a company’s only source of income. There’s shareholder money, executive salaries, donations, etc. It could’ve come from any of these sources. Yes, customer income drives the business, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your money went to the donation. $150000 is chump change compared to what Target brings in regularly. And when you consider all expenses of a company that large and take into account employee salaries, advertising costs, store shipping costs, website costs, etc – it’s pretty unlikely that the extra buck that Target made off your purchase of Lean Cuisine stretched far enough to go a donation like that.

  14. TasteyCat says:

    Target was supporting the whole of the candidacy, not one aspect of it. I’m in favor of gay marriage, but I’d have to be pretty narrow minded to be offended by this contribution.

  15. jpdanzig says:

    The issue here is not just anti-gay but anti-democracy. This Steinhafel clown has decided that Target will be one of the first American corporations to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s abominable decision lifting the ceiling on corporate contributions to election campaigns.

    For this I am boycotting Target, and I encourage all Consumerist readers to do the same to any company that puts corporate interests ahead of those of the individual American citizen.

    The fact that Steinhafel’s largesse benefits a wing nut just strengthens my resolve…

    • UnicornMaster says:

      yeah it was just a half assed apology anyway. “sorry we were just supporting his policies that help us, we didn’t know he was a bigot. We’ll take a closer look at the people who we’ll pay to help us out in the future.”

  16. UnicornMaster says:

    I’m sure whatever money he donated was all in support of public policy for tax-breaks for large corporations and such. Does anyone find that ironic? The government allows corporate contributions to lawmakers so that the lawmakers reduce corporate taxes so that the government gets less money.

  17. bigd738778 says:

    I think what most of you right-wingers are missing is that a company like Target is a public company and that a decission like this could hurt sales, meaning lower revenue, meaning cutting of jobs. It’s like your god Reagan told you about trickle down, which is B.S., but in this case the result would have a negative trickle down effect. Whether I believe in a cause or not public compaines should stay out of the political field because all it does is segregate their customer base. I don’t shop Wally World because it’s main job is to keep poor people poor just like the cash advance companies.

  18. NTC-Brendan says:

    This should be a non-issue from where I sit. Politics is kind of like religion – seems to cockup more things than it solves.

    1) Get the Government out of the Marriage Business. Who I want to legal share my stuff with, co-habitate with and leave my gear to when I move onto the next plane is really none of their business. My wife and I don’t need them to “bless our union” anymore than my friends with their partnerships and “civil unions” should. Find a Lawyer, sign some papers, get the insurance and wills worked out and move the F*** on.

    2) Politics: Poly from the Latin meaning Many – Ticks being small bloodsucking insects. I’m just sayin’…

  19. Southern says:

    Also, please note that according to the AP, other retailers are supporting this PAC/Candidate as well –

    “According to public campaign reports, other contributors to MN Forward include Red Wing Shoe Company Inc., Best Buy Co., Pentair Inc., Hubbard Broadcasting Inc., Davisco Foods International Inc. and Polaris Industries Inc”

    “OutFront Minnesota, a gay-rights advocacy group, posted an open letter urging Target to take back its money from MN Forward.”

    I guess the moral of the story is, it doesn’t matter what other platforms the anti-LGBT candidate runs on, nobody should vote for that candidate.

    Must be nice to just look at one aspect of a persons platform and base your entire vote on that one single issue.

    Oh wait, we’ve been doing that for years. Maybe that’s why this country is so screwed up, too many minorities with too much power.

    • BadgerPudding says:

      “Must be nice to just look at one aspect of a persons platform and base your entire vote on that one single issue.”

      That’s like saying Hitler had some good ideas too.

      • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

        Godwin’s Law invoked. And completely cheap and unnecessary, too.

  20. Eric Jay says:

    I can point you to the 9th Amendment, which states: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” As it turns out, our rights need not be explicitly spelled out in the Constitution to exist.

  21. BadgerPudding says:

    You put corporate greed before respect for basic human rights. Too little, too late you bigoted Nazi prick.

  22. dcamsam says:

    This isn’t an apology, it’s PR. There is no substantive difference between what he says here and what Target said before. He expresses no regret for Target’s endorsement of a bigot and he offers no promise that Target won’t endorse other bigots in the future. Target will continue to funnel the money of its pro-gay customers to anti-gay bigots. No one should be fooled.

    Otherwise, I can understand why an anti-gay shopper would defend Target. But the supposedly pro-gay defenders of Target? If Emmer were a racist opposed to interracial marriage rather than a homophobe opposed to same-sex marriage, well, I doubt Target’s defenders would be as willing to excuse its contribution to a racist on the basis of its support for his tax policy.

  23. NYGuy1976 says:

    SO if they are not gonna shop at target because of this where are they gonna go? Walmart?
    I really wish this country would do away with marriage and make everything civil unions to whoever you want. I mean if you wanna get married in a church whatever. The state should be out of the marriage business then this would be a non issue.

    • adlauren says:

      Agree completely.

    • 44Wadeable says:

      This. Yes.

    • JMILLER says:

      I’d applaud that completely, BUT I can guarantee there will be no candidate for serious office who says that in our lifetime. I think if you really look at it, marriage is an institution that discriminates against single people. I also hate that people who CHOOSE to have children think they deserve special rights like a HUGE tax break.

  24. Chip Skylark of Space says:

    Target has such a good rep here in Minnesota for being a tolerant employer, and then they go and pull this Wal-Mart type affair, like supporting a group of wackos. Look at Tom Emmer’s position on just about every topic.

    Gregg Steinhafel has to look at how he got here.

  25. Kodai says:

    If he was “genuinely sorry”, why didn’t he revers the decision?

  26. MurderGirl says:

    Note that Target didn’t condemn either the candidate or the PAC for their anti-LGBT stance, and didn’t publicly ask for its money back.

  27. Bakergirl says:


  28. therightquestion says:

    The gay and lesbian community calling for a boycott is insisting on a litmus test – to warrant support, a candidate MUST support same sex marriage, regardless of anything else the candidate might stand for. This candidate happens to be pro business, which is precisely why Target, its employees (who, presumably, would like continued employment) and its shareholders benefit from such a donation. For some people, though, there is nothing else but what they deem correct. Tough cookies, folks – world doesn’t work that way, never has.

  29. phil28 says:

    Target, you’ve lost one frequent customer, forever.

  30. watchout5 says:

    Wow, this statement makes me want to shop there even less than I already didn’t want to.

  31. BadgerPudding says:

    I hope Consumerist updates us if an when a real apology is updated.

    By the way, Target contributed thousands of dollars to support Prop 8.

    This is a company that cares nothing about basic freedoms.

  32. ohwolfman says:

    So, Tom Emmer gets $150K and I get an apology? I know what Emmer will do with the $150K — what am I supposed to do with the apology?

    I haven’t shopped at Target since I heard the news and this weak attempt at dragging me back to the store is insulting.

  33. skakh says:

    While he didn’t have to apologize, it was a good thing he did, a bit too little and a bit too late. People are certainly allowed to be as biased as they would like. However, when they are a business and they do something like this they risk alienating a good many people. I, for one, will not shop as much at Target as I did before this donation, neither will my wife nor three children. Oh, a question to TKOtheKRD (?), would you care to define “gay agenda” so that us less knowledgeable folk can understand. I have yet to hear a rational definition from anyone over at Fox.

  34. SteveinOhio says:

    Why does the government regulate marriage in the first place?

  35. balthisar says:

    Ah, yes, the single issue voters are upset. And people wonder why we’re a federal type republic rather than a pure democracy. Actually, they don’t wonder, because they don’t know the differences or why they exist.

  36. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    We’re taking your feelings seriously. Really.

  37. Suze says:

    I’m done with Target.

  38. says:

    This Emmers guy isn’t even a good conservative candidate. As a Target stockholder I’m appalled they gave this loser any money.

    He has 2 drunk driving charges, then tried to use his power in Minnesota legislator to lower penalties on drunk driving. He tried to pass a zoning ordinance on lake where he owned land that benefited him directly.

    Emmer is friends with the Target president and that’s the only reason he got money. The Steinhafel ordered his marketing team to give Emmers $50,000 in free branding and advertising work. This is money that should have been spent marketing Target products, not getting the president’s friend elected. The president should be fired.

    Yes, corporations have the right to support anyone they want, but there will be consequences and they need to weigh these before they spend investors money.

  39. Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

    “Normal”? Really?

    Next you’ll be saying it’s “Normal” to be Caucasian, because there are more Caucasians than anyone of any other background. That it’s “Normal” to have brown hair.

    These are genetically based, just like homosexuality.

    The facts do not support your opinion.

  40. Sparty999 says:

    I am 100% for gay rights, the right to marry… whatever… but people draw conclusions like this from nothing… Target has a history of doing MORE than the average company, then they get lambasted for a simple oversight.

    I also have a problem with people saying that being homophobic is being a bigot. Lack of understanding, and bad experiences with gay people does not make someone a bigot. Being SCARED of something you don’t understand doesn’t make you a bigot. I was lucky enough to work in a restaurant in my first job where I was one of only a few heterosexuals… I was able to get over my fears very early on. But if people are only exposed to the “flaming” loud mouth, “I’m here, I’m queer, get used it it” types… I don’t blame them for being a little scared…


  41. DJSeanMac says:

    It gets so much deeper: TheAwl did some digging and found out the insane level of anti-equality contributions the senior level executives made prior to the Citizens United ruling. It’s SO MUCH WORSE than this one MN Forward contribution.

  42. wolf says:

    What is gay rights anyway . God did not intend for two men or women to marry or to have male/male , female/female sex. for crying out loud study anatomy. This gay stuff is wrong and should not be made right by excepting it as an individuals right. Put it back in the closet and lock it. Personal opinion

    • Sian says:

      so can you come up with a rational argument against it other than ‘buttsex is icky’?

      • lumberg says:

        Well, if you believe in God, then you believe it’s a sinful lifestyle.

        If you believe in evolution, then all life continues to evolve with “mutated” cells and genes which help further the species. Given that gay partners cannot make children on their own, being homosexual does not further the species in any way.

    • Sian says:

      “buttsex is icky”

      That’s the core of your argument? Can you come up with something a little more rational?

    • BuyerOfGoods3 says:

      For you to think you know what God intended, is in itself, Blasphemous in your religion (i can smell it from here).

  43. bitsnbytes says:

    Dear Drama Queens,
    If Target’s whole design aesthetic isn’t gay enough for you, you’re impossible to satisfy. Don’t kvetch about small stuff.
    The Prez.

  44. dennis says:

    I can’t fire you fags, so this is just to let you know my position.

    Sincerely, the boss

    PS you queers can shop elsewhere.

  45. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    I think it was a very, very well written letter. ‘Nuff said.

    • BadgerPudding says:

      Yeah, but what about the blatantly unapologetic anti-gay content? He’s saying that profit comes before civil rights.

  46. sopmodm14 says:

    saw it on as well

    it was a business decision, not a social one

    so if the country still doesn’t accept gay marriage, should they just boycott the country ?

    should they bash target b/c their colors are red….GASP…like communism ?

  47. sopmodm14 says:

    saw it on as well

    it was a business decision, not a social one

    so if the country still doesn’t accept gay marriage, should they just boycott the country ?

    should they bash target b/c their colors are red….GASP…like communism ?

  48. gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

    Wtf is the gay agenda? Wanting to be treated with dignity and respect? Or the part about wanting the same rights as heteros because by birthright I am a citizen of this country and while crappy groups like this can opress me, marginalize me and deny me the basic rights others born or naturalized as citizens enjoy because I don’t think it was intended that I marry a man and ruin his life as well as my own because I’m a gay woman and am like mentally and physically attracted ot other women and so because I am gay and live in the US I am denied my rights and STILL HAVE TO PAY MY TAXES. Is that the gay agenda of which you speak?

  49. xamarshahx says:

    Corporations shouldn’t be allowed to support any candidate. The CEO personally can give billions if he likes, that’r not any of our business, but as a corporation, they should take the high road even the supreme court ********** up

  50. MichaelFBrennan says:

    Dear Target,
    That you would fold your Constitutional Rights to an obvious politically obsessed interest group is a new low in cowardice in the face of bullys who deny you and the American voter the blood, sweat and tears paid by previous generations to protect our free heritage. SHAME! be upon your house.

    Michael F Brennan
    St Petersburg FL