Target Corporation Sucks andThis Lady Rocks!
Last week, the Target Corporation gave $150,000 to Minnesota Forward, an anti-gay group supporting Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for Minnesota governor. According to a CBS News report, "Emmer is a fiery conservative who opposes gay marriage, lauds Arizona's strict approach
to illegal immigration, once advocated chemical castration for sex
offenders and wants to lower taxes."
This donation is perfectly legal under the new Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. That's not the issue. (Best Buy Co., another Minnesota-based corporation, gave $100,000 to the same group.) The issue is that countless gays and lesbians spend their money at Target on everything from household goods to gym clothes, which means their money is going to support anti-gay initiatives.
Enter Randi Reitan, who has a gay son and whose repeated attempts to reach Target executives failed. So what did she do? She took her anger directly to her local Target and had a friend film the encounter.
What's strange about the situation is that Target has been known to support LGBT employees, and were sponsors of this year's Twin Cities Pride. Target also holds a 100% ranking with the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index. When Minnesota website The Colu.mn contacted HRC about this, HRC’s Deputy Press Secretary, Paul Guequierre responded:
“While political contributions to support candidates are not a factor in HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, HRC finds it puzzling that Target would take great steps to support LGBT inclusiveness while simultaneously helping a candidate who shamelessly rejects equality for LGBT Minnesotans.”
The article continues by saying that HRC has no plans to modify its CEI criteria to account for a corporation’s anti-LGBT activities, but that could change. Guequierre is quoted as writing:
“Now in its ninth year, the CEI’s criteria has evolved. In 2011, for example, there will be nearly a half-dozen new criteria that will be added for evaluation. Criteria will continue to evolve as we come into new information.”