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Target Hit With Boycott by Gay-Rights Activists Over Political Donation

4 years ago
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Gay-rights activists are cutting up their Target credit cards and demonstrating outside the retail giant's stores to protest the company's donation to a political group backing Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, who is against same-sex marriage.

Target contributed $150,000 to MN Forward, a pro-business group that has endorsed and is paying for ads for Emmer, ABC News reported.

The boycott got a major boost Tuesday when MoveOn.org, the Democratic political advocacy group, said it would help with the petition drive to spread the boycott, according to Reuters.

On his Web site, Emmer says he defines marriage as a "union between one man and one woman" -- a view common among politicians in both parties. Emmer also angered some voters by contributing $250 to a Christian rock band called You Can Run But You Cannot Hide that has expressed anti-gay sentiments.

On Facebook, activists going after Target have started a page called "Boycott Target Until They Cease Funding Anti-Gay Politics." Meanwhile, a second group with a similar name is advocating a protest of the electronics retailer Best Buy because it also contributed to MN Forward.

"Target has always been a really supportive workplace for GLBT people," said Monica Meyer, head of OutFront Minnesota. "I think people are feeling a little betrayed by the company . . . seems really contradictory to how they've acted in the past."

But Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel said the retailer's support for the gay, lesbian and trans-gender community is "unwavering."

Target, Steinhafel said, "has a history of supporting organizations and candidates, on both sides of the aisle, who seek to advance policies aligned with our business objectives, such as job creation and growth. It is also important to note that we rarely endorse all advocated positions of organizations or candidates we support, and we do not have a political or social agenda."

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124 Comments

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Bill&MaryAnn

We are forgetting the 1920s Supremes' defining a company or corporation as possessing all Constitutional rights of an individual person. THIS year's Supremes removed ALL restrictions upon payors or conveyors of bribes to politicians [aka 'campaign contributions' and actual bribes]. Concerned about the ethical thrust of this country? YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHIN' YET!!! How REALLY are we willing/capable of positive action to reclaim our country for its human citizens supporting it with their blood and toil? And loyalties?

August 04 2010 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John

I say let em protest

August 04 2010 at 3:50 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
CalJenni1

Good Grief, there is always something............

August 04 2010 at 3:43 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
medcoderpat

After reading that one post that target help gays adopt a little boy I will not go to shop at target ever. HOw did they help gays adopt anyway.

August 04 2010 at 3:14 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
dmarie1235

This boycott isn't simply about Gay, Lesbian, Transgender rights (which I do support). It is about keeping corporations out of politics. We're supposed to have government by the people, for the people. Not government by the corporation, for the corporation.

August 04 2010 at 3:04 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dmarie1235's comment
CEN 21 MAN

That goes both ways don't forget that!!

August 04 2010 at 5:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rod

I shop at target whenever I get the chance and I will continue to do so. They have my full support in this matter. 1 Man+1 Woman=marriage. Now just because I say that doesn't mean I'm anti gay. They are people too. If they want to have a civil union I'm all for that.

August 04 2010 at 3:01 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
stvrahn

I don't believe a boycott is in order. I'm a gay man, but have many conservative views, particularly fiscally. Its possible that Target decided to support a candidate that would benefit them most as retailer. I find myself in strange emotional positions trying to decide who to vote for these days. I favor candidates that believe all Americans should have the same rights, privileges and obligations.....a level playing field. Mostly, they seem to be Democrats. But, I won't vote for "tax and spend" politicians....which are usually Democrats. I don't believe in Big Government. I want the government out of my private life. I believe in States Rights. Btw, I am more of a "true" conservative than many people that call them conservatives. Why? Because I believe the government has no business in our private lives or bedrooms. That is just more Big Brother. As a gay man, I think I should be able to serve in the military and get married just like my brothers have. I don't think true conservatives should oppose gay marriage, because they are supporting the idea that the government SHOULD intrude in the private lives
of it's citizens. Barry Goldwater, one of my few political heroes and a true conservative, spoke about the rights of gay people twenty years ago....including their right to serve in the military. He understood. Unfortunately, many "conservatives" these days are just religious zealots with no sense of justice. Let Target support the candidate of their choice, it doesn't mean they are "anti-gay".

August 04 2010 at 2:56 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Bob & Lynn

I get confused by groups whose goal is to gain equal rights for their members by harrassing those who oppose their stance. Isn't the point to promote the rights of all people to possess their own values so long as they do not violate the law? Why are those of us who do not support gay rights being targeted (no pun intended) as the bad guys? If the laws reflect the values of the vast majority of the people, that's the way it is. You don't see those of us who want marijuana legalized boycotting stores who support politicians opposed to its legalization. When are ALL people going to respect the values of others?

August 04 2010 at 2:53 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
imtheeggmann

That was really not a good idea for Target. They just opened their first store in Manhattan. The donation was a good way to put that location's Target out of business practically before it opened, fellas. Ever hear of Broadway? Greenwich Village? Chelsea? New York City Opera and Ballet?

August 04 2010 at 2:46 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
CORA

I have boycotted Target for years for not allowing the famous "Bell Ringers" at Christmas. I WILL NOW START SHOPPING AT TARGET AGAIN, AS WELL AS MY LARGE FAMILY AND HUGE CIRCLE OF FRIENDS (and their family and friends and the ripple effect goes on)!!! Thank you for printing this article AOL!

August 04 2010 at 2:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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