Target sues gay rights group

Categories: Target

targetsquare.jpg
Mr. T in DC
Target's gay-rights public-relations meltdown just keeps on going.
The Target Corporation just can't seem to make nice to gay folks.

After months of terrible publicity over its funding of anti-gay-marriage political candidates, its subsequent sorry-if-you-took-that-the-wrong-way apology, and Lady Gaga's recent public split with the company over its failure to commit to gay rights, Target has now unveiled its latest diplomatic initiative: suing a gay rights group.

Yes, that's right. Target is suing San Diego-based activists Canvas for a Cause, and the trial starts today.

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Target's logo has been co-opted by LGBT groups.
Apparently Canvas for a Cause, which collects signatures in support of gay marriage, tried to get some signatures outside some Target locations, and the retail giant didn't like it.

As usual, Target insists the lawsuit has nothing to do with Canvas for a Cause's icky gay agenda.

"Our legal action was in no way related to the cause of the organization and was done so to be consistent with our long-standing policy of providing a distraction-free shopping experience by not permitting solicitors at our stores," reads a company statement to the Associated Press.

Perhaps that's true. But the fact that Target can't seem to go more than a few weeks without generating headlines over its lousy relations with gay rights supporters suggests one of two things: either the $65-billion company has a team of trained monkeys managing it's P.R., or it really doesn't care if it looks like a big homophobic bully.

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41 comments
Taco
Taco

So it seems our choices are now between the anti-woman or anti-gay mega retailers.

ML
ML

Target has a blanket policy against solicitation around their stores. They are so nice about it in fact, they offer to make a large annual donation to the people as long as they don't bother their customers. The only people who get sued are those that continuously refuse to abide by this rule.

Ex Target Donor
Ex Target Donor

Hmmm, I saw Target run off the local high school football team for trying to sell a fund raising coupon book but I don't recall them being sued...

Fuku
Fuku

do u realize how many homos work at target corporate? lol usta work at retek think i know wtf im talking about

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

Holy HypocrisyTwin Cities Pride accepted $25,000 from Target last year. Pride Fest says: We will gladly accept your money; but don't you dare give to the opposition! The members of the Twin cities gay community should be outraged by the actions of these dumb asses in CA. Their bully actions are going to cause Target to remove ALL funding from anything associated with the title "gay". Let me say it again; Target is a MAJOR contributor to the Twin Cities Pride fest. Has all the logic left your head?By the way folks, Target is a Minnesota based company. The Dayton family is a MAJOR share holder and board members of Target Corp. An attack on Target is a attack on Mark Dayton.

Watch close as the queers become contortionists, and somehow screw themselves

Sandy
Sandy

Aren't they also the corp that bans Salvation Army bell ringers? I guess asking for donations for the poor causes too much guilt and stress for their suburban shoppers. Target lost it's cool image years ago and it's been suffering a slow death...perhaps the anti-gay marriage message will finally be it's demise.

Someone Else
Someone Else

I'm in agreement with "Someone" here. I am also a loyal reader and LGBT supporter. (When did it become GLBT? I'm so out of the loop.) There's no story here this time. When Target supported Emmer, people got mad (rightfully so, I believe, see below) but that anger turned into CfaC's actions which, according to less biased news accounts, have bordered on harassment.

BUT - The claim that Target supported Emmer for fiscal reasons, and therefore this has nothing to do with gay rights, is a load of horse shit. You can't vote for, or financially support, part of a candidate. You have to vote either for or against the entire platform. So if the fiscal policy is what attracts you, the rest of the platform has to be at least acceptable. Your vote/support says "These parts of the platform are good, and these, that I disagree with, are acceptable as part of the whole." So essentially Target is saying "Go ahead and marginalize a minority. As long as we get our tax cuts, we are fine with your hateful attitude toward homosexuals."

I'm finished with this soapbox now if anyone wants it.

TO
TO

"The corporation says at least eight Target stores in the area have reported receiving more than a dozen complaints daily since canvassers started working outside their stores in October 2010. Target says the activists have refused to leave when asked politely and shown the company's policy prohibiting "expressive activity" on its property."

CJ
CJ

This is interesting because there are always different groups out in front of the downtown Minneapolis Target. ASPCA, various new products, survey groups etc. And I don't think they've ever been sued.

TO
TO

hey Taylor swift 269, shop at walmart, it's your right to shop anywhere you want same as it is the right of a company to support a candidate that they see fit. Emmer has many views, if he is not for gay marriage than ok but there are way bigger fish to fry and I am betting Target supported him for fiscal reasons not soft social issues.

vitajex
vitajex

The most ironic thing about this story is that Target carries some of the "gayest" looking houseware and decorative products I've ever seen outside of Nathan Lane's house.

TO
TO

So Mr. Pinto doesn't want me to attach links to reputable publications that give you the whole story. People, do some reading. I really don't think Target is the villain it's being made out to be. In fact, I bet Target doesn't focus it's energy to pro or anti gay issues. They are not relevant issues in the business of retail goods. Does anyone care that i am white, conservative and male? no. dito!

Evel
Evel

Prediential Candidate Barack Obama said he was opposed to gay marraige, too. Seems like these guys should be protesting themselves.

bronson
bronson

I think there are too many groups in this country, gay and otherwise, whose sole purpose seems to be getting mad at things. There has to be something more constructive for this group to focus their energy on (such as marriage rights). I'm sure Target employs many gays and treats them fairly, and there's nothing about the stores themselves that pose a threat to the gay community. You could even call them gay-friendly--have you seen the mens t-shirts? All major corporations contribute money to a wide array of political campaigns. Target is under no obligation to only contribute along gay-rights lines.

Someone
Someone

Horrible and misleading writing here. Just wrong from the get go. This comes from a regular City Page readers and ally to the GLBT community. Don’t make up a story that’s not there.

No one is allowed to solicit outside of Target stores, period. That means pro-Republican, pro-gun, pro-earth, pro-Democratic. Do a little more digging into the aggressive approach from the Canvas for a Cause and you might find a real story here.

Tswift269
Tswift269

I have targeted target for a boycott since they gave to Tom Emmers election through a front group. None of my money is going their way ever again.

TO
TO

too funny. i keep getting blocked. ouch.

TO
TO

for real reporting on the issue see below. City pages couldnt be more skewed. Hell, I even put Star Libune as a better reference. It's easy to preach to the choir CP.Try taking a different view, i know it's scary but try it.

"at least eight Target stores in the area have reported receiving more than a dozen complaints daily since canvassers started working outside their stores in October 2010. Target says the activists have refused to leave when asked politely and shown the company's policy prohibiting "expressive activity" on its property."

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap...

http://www.startribune.com/loc...

liberal
liberal

Target doesn't allow ANY groups to solicit outside their stores, including the "homophobic" Salvation Army. People just need to chill out, there are hundreds of corporations who donate to conservative political campaigns because it's GOOD FOR BUSINESS. It's not anti-gay, it's pro-business.

Lantatoes
Lantatoes

I'm totally shopping at Target more often. Good for them. The REAL bullies here are the gay rights groups! I don't understand why people aren't allowed to have different views in this country anymore. So what if Target is anti-gay?!? Does it really matter?!? Do yahoo there if you don't like it, it's that simple!!!

joonloon
joonloon

Haven't I seen the homophobic Salvation Army at Target? Not sure. But if they're allowed, that's solicitation.

erica
erica

The truth hurts, doesn't it Target? Shouldn't have donated to Tom Emmers' campaign to begin with.

anon
anon

Target has an anti-solicitation policy, but I haven't heard of them using lawsuits to crack down on this stuff. It's only "unfair" if they give contrarily supportive treatment to "anti-gay" groups...

bronson
bronson

Target doesn't put forth an anti-gay marriage message. They happen to have contributed money to politicians who happen to be opposed to gay marriage. They also contribute money to all sorts of other causes representing a wide array of opinions. They're just a very large, visible, and therefore convenient straw man for gay activists to take shots at.

TripleJ
TripleJ

Thats extremely simplistic. If a corporation has to choose between someone who is going to make it easier for them to do business, versus someone who is going to raise their taxes, which will at the very least make it more difficult for them to grow, and at worst could result in layoffs, then ethically speaking, the corporation only has one choice. It must back the pro-business candidate. Corporations do not make moral judgements, they just do what is good for business. People may not like it, but that is because we are at liberty to make moral judgements. If you really want to hurt the employees of Target then dont shop there any more. They can always get a worse paying job at Wal-Mart.

dumb joke
dumb joke

Do you not recognize there is a difference between the Downtown Target and another one, such as the traditional Target in a suburb? Walk 2 feet out of the Downtown Target, and you're on public land. Walk 2 feet out of the Target on Lake Street, and you're on Target property.

Katy
Katy

I'm not one to defend Target, but the supporters of the company will argue that the storefront in Minneapolis is public property due to city zoning laws being different, and so Target supposedly has no control over that one.

Katy
Katy

He has also recanted and very recently spoken out AGAINST DOMA. AND if you ask most GLBT persons, they aren't actually huge Obama fans, it was just better than the alternative. (Plus his running mate is an extremely public supporter of gay rights).

bronson
bronson

Also, an aside to City Pages: When you take a highly inflammatory word like "bigot" off of a lobbying group's website and repurpose it as the giant image which accompanies your headline, it's sensationalist journalism at its worst. There are real bigots out there, and many of them are in positions of power. To lazily throw the term at the entire Target corporation only serves to deflate the term when it's time to call out the real bigots.

Jeremy B
Jeremy B

Two things:

1. I'm really tired of this lie that a company can support a candidate or party based on single issues, particularly when this company in particular has historically supported minority groups such as the GLBT community.

2. Is it REALLY "good for business" to support the GOP? I mean, they did such a bang-up job on our state and national economy between 2000-2008, and continue to generally stomp their feet and throw temper tantrums over any and all attempts to reverse our general economic demise. Why would anyone at any level--save the richest what, 5%?--support them at this point? I call bullsh-t on this one.

madeinminn
madeinminn

Target hasn't allowed the Salvation Army to solicit donations for years.

TripleJ
TripleJ

The did not donate to Emmers campaign. They donated to a pro-business group which then supported Emmer.

KS
KS

I think you said it yourself though; they do not normally use lawsuits to crack down. This in and of itself is unfair. (Which I think you were getting at, I don't mean to bash you).

TripleJ
TripleJ

In case you are wondering, that last part was meant to show how unfair simplistic explanations can be.

JustSomeGirl
JustSomeGirl

Not only that, Target didn't directly donate money to Emmers. They donated money to MN Forward, a non-profit organization focused on creating MN Jobs with MN companies. It just so happens that that non-profit supported Emmers.

Maybe Target should have done a little more research? Maybe it doesn't matter?

JustSomeGirl
JustSomeGirl

If you read the Associated Press link, Target claims that they have taken similar action without all sorts of canvassing groups. Also, how many groups refuse to leave when they are shown the anti-solicitation policy and are asked to leave? These are the groups that get sued into leaving.

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