You may remember a post I shared a couple weeks ago regarding Target Corp. and their neutral stance on the marriage amendment. Well, have I got news for you!
Last Sunday, the retailer announced a “Wear it with Pride” campaign featuring a collection of Pride tshirts just in time for summer. Tshirts include words like “Harmony” and “Pride.” One design in the collection was created by rocker Gwen Stefani and reads, “Love is Love.” Even better, 100% of the entire purchase price is being donated to the Family Equality Council (an organization working to promote equality for LGBT families).
Almost immediately, Target began receiving backlash from groups like Minnesota for Marriage and the American Family Association for, and I quote, “ramming same-sex marriage down the throats of the American people.” (source)
When groups like the AFA make such ridiculous statements, it mobilizes the LGBT community and their allies who help refute these claims. One of the posts I read last night said that Target was “attacking traditional marriage.” About half a dozen people posted in response asking the author how a collection of tshirts is threatening their marriage. One poster called out the irony behind leaders who make these claims and the fact that some of them have had three to four of their own “traditional marriages!” That made me chuckle.
In response to the hubbub, Target released the following statement:
Target supports inclusivity and diversity in every aspect of our business and has a long history of supporting the LGBT community through giving, volunteerism and event sponsorship and participation. Target does not believe that a constitutional fight over the issue is good for Minnesota or the state’s ability to attract jobs and grow the economy. Consistent with our long-standing support of civic engagement, we are encouraging our team members to exercise their right to vote.
Yeah. Read that again:
Target does not believe that a constitutional fight over the issue is good for Minnesota or the state’s ability to attract jobs and grow the economy.
I was sitting at my desk when one of my co-workers emailed me the link to theKare11.com article and I was floored! While Target has a long history of supporting the LGBT community (Pride, Project 515, Red Ribbon Ride, AIDS Walk, Bridge for Youth, Out & Equal, domestic partner benefits, partner discount, partner leave to name a few), I’m not sure I was expecting to see a statement like this considering the controversy over the Minnesota Forward donation a couple years back (which I talked about in my previous blog post). But I’ll take it!
Minnesota for Marriage has already used all of this to mobilize their base asking for each person to donate $100 to offset the dollars Target will donate to the Family Equality Council. I’m expecting that One Million Moms will probably have something to say about this whole situation as well.
But even still, this is a historic day as another one of Minnesota’s Fortune 500 companies has ‘come out’ against this mean-spirited amendment.
Thank you for supporting all families, Target. You make me very proud.
Author’s note: Target team member involved with Target’s LGBTA Business Council.