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Target Apologizes For Donation to Support Antigay MN Candidate

Target Apologizes For Donation to Support Antigay MN Candidate

A Controversial Political Donation
Target Corporation issued an apology today over its $150,000 contribution to MN Forward, which is running ads for Tom Emmer, a Republican candidate who opposes same-sex marriage. Emmer is running for governor of Minnesota and states on his website that he believes that ‘marriage is the union between one man and one woman.’ He further notes that he has, as a legislator, ‘consistently supported the constitutional marriage amendment that protects traditional marriage.’

Consumers have been outraged at the mega-retailer for supporting—however indirectly—anti-gay politics and have called for a boycott on Target. Randi Reitan, whose son is gay, protested by cutting up a Target card and returning merchandise (and making a YouTube video about it). More than a few groups (like this one on Facebook) have sprung up; a national day of protest is scheduled for August 14th.

Target’s Reputation as an Ally in the Gay Rights Movement in Jeopardy

Target’s contributions to MN Forward have been all the more jarring because, as CBS News reported on July 28th, the company ‘long been seen as an ally by the gay rights movement.’ Indeed, Reitan says in her video,

‘The Target I know was a Target that embraced its gay employees’

Target had tried to justify the donations by saying they were meant to support Emmer’s positions about creating a positive environment for businesses and not his views on social and cultural issues. 

But what kind of a ‘positive environment’ is it, when behind those views is someone (someone who could potentially hold political office) who supports anti-gay politics? 

Proposition 8 Struck Down on August 4th; What Was Target Thinking?
Yesterday the ban on gay marriage in California was struck down after  Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled that Proposition 8 violated both the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Seems to me that Target has done the right thing to apologize. Chairman and Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel states that Target will now ‘set up a review process for future political donations.’ 

But it also seems to me that Target should already have such a process in place? 
For one thing, shouldn’t someone at Target have seen and read those statements on Emmer’s website about marriage as ‘the union between one man and one woman’ etc. etc.?

What other organizations and ’causes’ might Target, have given donations too—is the company really ‘on target’ with supporting gay rights, supporting the civil rights of all of its employees?

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104 comments

+ add your own
12:10PM PST on Feb 5, 2011

Aaron Baker, I truly believe you should go back under the rock you crawled up from. It's not good for your health to be exposed to all us sinners who engage in such topics as wanting:
equal rights for gays and lesbians,
to put a stop to discrimination at the workplace,
to have laws protecting children living in same gender families and
other atrocoties.
So, please, Aaron, move back to under that rock before your life is plagued by sickness!

10:49AM PDT on Oct 9, 2010

Emmer is a retard and setting us back to when we had slaves.

Target please do the right thing.

1:51AM PDT on Aug 27, 2010

Target's logic behind their decision to donate to MNForward is flawed. A political donation, once given, belongs to the recipient. They can do anything they want with that money. It can't be controlled by the giver. You can't say that you only meant to support one plank in a platform. You have to realize that you're supporting the entire platform.

That's like saying that a man who's employed, sober and doesn't gamble but beats his wife can still be considered a good husband because he does three things that are good. Sorry, but it's a package deal.

If they can't take back that donation, then they should give an equal amount to the opposition, assuming the opponent doesn't share the same view.

9:43PM PDT on Aug 22, 2010

It is so wrong that you (Target and everybody else) are forced to apologize for something you believe in. For you people who dont realize and possibly dont care, HOMOSEXUALITY is an ABOMONATION to GOD. But then again, you people are fulfilling a BIBLICAL PROHECY that shows us the "END" is near.

10:51AM PDT on Aug 16, 2010

A sincere apology would be for them to make a contribution of equal amount to the gay-friendly candidate. This is what HRC requested.

8:25AM PDT on Aug 12, 2010

It's nice knowing that corporations now need to apologize for this kind of things.

11:17AM PDT on Aug 11, 2010

We accept your apology, if it is a true apology!! ( :

9:10AM PDT on Aug 11, 2010

It is sad but most of these large corporations support some very extreme candidates, candidates that are openly anti-gay, prejudice, anti immigrant (even though they exploit the workforce!). Lots of you have cited, Best Buy, WalMart. Even our phone companies, Verizon and AT&T have given strong support to some very surprising, unsavory candidates. It is really frustrating but I think boycotting is the surest way. It is the only way to get them to listen.

3:22PM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

I'm glad they apologized, I think Best Buy should too. And the postings pointing out that the money's still in the pocket of a dangerous bigot are right too.

But gay marriage is now legal in California. Once in a while, it's a good idea to focus on a victory. And a victory as significant as this one should do a lot to encourage and inspire us to believe that there's possibility and hope!

1:34PM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

whose bright idea was it anyway. i do not see where this 'institute' is needed at all.

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