Target's new gay pride collection "a stupid move," says Minnesota for Marriage
|Minnesota for Marriage doesn't like Target's support of this shirt's message.|
Through the end of the month, all proceeds from the collection up to $120,000 will be donated to the pro-marriage equality Family Equality Council.
Unsurprisingly, this week Minnesota for Marriage, the state's leading anti-gay marriage group, blasted the company for rolling out the pro-GLBT collection, especially during the months leading up to a vote on a state constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.
Frank Schubert, campaign manager for Minnesota for Marriage, told MPR that he views the collection as "really kind of a slap in the face to people of faith and supporters of marriage."
Same-sex marriage opponents "constitute a large majority of people of Minnesota and an overwhelming majority of Target customers," so it's upsetting that the company "would intentionally inject themselves into the marriage campaign," Schubert said.
Last week, Minnesota for Marriage sent e-mails to supporters criticizing corporations like Target for supporting "genderless marriages here in Minnesota" and asking for contributions to protect traditional marriage. Schubert told MPR that the message ended up raising more funds for Minnesota for Marriage than any other e-mail the organization has sent.
"People are upset about it, and they're responding, and we encourage people to let Target know that they're upset," he said. "It was a stupid move on their part and we're going to hold them to account for it."
|Target wants to distance itself from the anti-gay perception it cultivated in 2010-11.|
Target, of course, has been a longtime sponsor of the Pride festival held each June. But during the 2010 campaign season, the company seemed to reverse course by giving $150,000 to an anti-gay, pro-Tom Emmer organization, then compounded the controversy by continuing to give to anti-gay politicians afterward.
Bad PR prompted the company to change its political donation policy early last year, making it more difficult for executives like conservative CEO Gregg Stienhafel to funnel money from Target's PAC to the candidates he probably supports as a private citizen.
Despite getting blasted by Minnesota for Marriage for rolling out "Wear It With Pride," Target spokespeople say the company remains committed to its new collection and the pro-gay marriage message it sends.
"Target supports inclusivity and diversity in every aspect of our business and has a long history of supporting the LGBT community through giving, volunteerism and event sponsorship and participation," the company says in a statement. "Target is pleased to be able to bring our guests products they want while, in turn, helping support the LGBT community through the donation of 100 percent of the purchase price to the Family Equality Council."
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