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Target defends contribution to anti-gay politics

Minneapolis, MN — Target's CEO is today defended the company's $150,000 political donation to fund anti-gay politics. Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel is telling employees of the Minnesota-based retailer that the company's support of the gay community remains "unwavering."

Target has come under fire from LGBT groups, including the Human Rights Campaign, for giving $150,000 to a right-wing political action committee (PAC) known as Minnesota Forward, which in turn bought television ads for Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.

"I believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman," Emmer says on his website. "As a legislator, I have consistently supported the constitutional marriage amendment that protects traditional marriage."

Gay rights groups say it's unwise for Target to back the anti-gay Emmer, because his conservative views on abortion, gay marriage, immigration and the minimum wage could upset some Target shoppers.

Emmer has also been criticized for his association with a Christian rock band, which according to the Minnesota Independent has made statements concerning the morality of killing gays and lesbians. 

"We rarely endorse all advocated positions of the organizations or candidates we support, and we do not have a political or social agenda," Steinhafel said in an e-mail published by the Associated Press. "Let me be very clear, Target's support of the GLBT community is unwavering, and inclusiveness remains a core value of our company."

The AP also reports that Best Buy, another Minnesota-based retailer, contributed $100,000 to the conservative PAC. 

Target opened its new Chicago location in the Uptown neighborhood on July 20. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Ald. Helen Shiller (46th) and openly-gay state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) were at the opening.

Rep. Harris told on Monday that he was surprised by the news. 

"This shows how important effective campaign disclosure laws are, so that we can follow the money that supports candidates who actively work against our community or who fund anti-gay ballot initiatives," said Harris. "Companies like Target need to understand that they can't have it both ways when it comes to issues of our basic rights, and that the facts will eventually come out. I hope that they will rethink this contribution and find a way to make it right."

A Facebook group dedicated to boycotting Target continues to gain momentum. 
Posted by Steven Hall on Tue, 7/27/2010 12:46 PM
Well now I will drive that extra mile to Walmart, companies are so F**king retarded sometimes. Target just lost a customer.
Posted by Tim Figueroa on Tue, 7/27/2010 12:53 PM
I won't be shopping there any time soon. Our most effective recourse is often to hit 'em where it counts: At the cash register.
Posted by Steve Martindale on Tue, 7/27/2010 1:38 PM
Well, I have to say I'm not surprised. When it comes down to it, it's a business that needs to survive and it does what it has to do. The only reason they might pick up a social issue (any for profit company) is because they stand to gain from it financially. I actually have to say I'm glad they were honest and basically said that they were in it for the money.
Posted by Daniel Smith on Tue, 7/27/2010 1:49 PM
I'm sure Emmer's pal Bradlee Dean and the rest of his hate-mongering pizza evangelist pals will buy enough bandanas and sleeveless leopard print t-shirts to make up for all the money us "victim-playing, molesting homosexuals" used to spend there.
Posted by Scott Dreyer on Tue, 7/27/2010 2:50 PM
I did a few hours ago, and it's not posted....go figure....
Posted by CornetMustich on Tue, 7/27/2010 2:54 PM
I'm sure Walmart is not ANY better Tim
Posted by Boxboy Rich on Tue, 7/27/2010 3:48 PM
YA the CEO, voted to limit all gay rights...
Posted by Steven Hall on Tue, 7/27/2010 4:40 PM
Well am not buying at target from now on
Posted by Luis Juan on Tue, 7/27/2010 4:46 PM
Ewww no. I love Target. Fucken bastards! Fuck it, Walgreens here i come.
Posted by Jose Salazar on Tue, 7/27/2010 4:57 PM
Not very smart. GAYS have lots of $$$ and like to spent it too. They will loose business and money. Idiots.
Posted by Daniel Walek on Tue, 7/27/2010 5:05 PM
The company would have been better off to give nothing to either candidate. The company has the right to donate to any campaign it likes (apparently), and I have the right to not shop there (consider that done) until the company rescinds the contribution.
Posted by dfrw on Tue, 7/27/2010 5:10 PM
This is not good Mr Target Man. You want to put two big stores in San Francisco and are awaiting approval. Mr Target Man their is lots of Gay People in SF with a lot of that disposable income and lots of gay families with kids. Better rethink your political views.
Posted by Fred Villanova on Tue, 7/27/2010 5:23 PM
I am cancelling my target and best buy credit cards. They can't have it both one can have their cake and eat it too.
Posted by J-Paul899 on Tue, 7/27/2010 5:25 PM
Interesting that no one has noticed that Best Buy has also donated to the same organization. But no one is picketing them.
Posted by J-Paul899 on Tue, 7/27/2010 5:39 PM
Definitely won't be shopping at Target anymore
Posted by RAC on Thu, 7/29/2010 2:38 AM
I say WAY TO GO TARGET! Gays are not the only people with alot of $$$ to spend. And-contrary to seemingly popular belief-there are still people who honor and cherish The Holy Word. I have several friends that completely agree with me and we will support Target.
Posted by hla on Thu, 7/29/2010 2:21 PM
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