Target finally comes out in support of gay marriage

Categories: GLBT, Target
Target_bluesky.jpg
kevin dooley via Flickr Creative Commons
Two years ago, Target refused to take an official stance on Minnesota's marriage amendment. The perception was that then-CEO Gregg Steinhafel, who in 2010 created a stink by giving $150,000 of the company's dollars to fund a TV ad supporting Tom Emmer's anti-gay gubernatorial campaign, played a significant role in forcing Target to remain neutral.

Steinhafel is now gone, with Brian Cornell officially named his successor last week. And just days later, the company made its first public, unambiguous statement in support of marriage equality.

See also:
Target's new gay pride collection "a stupid move," says Minnesota for Marriage

In a blog post published yesterday, Jodee Kozlak, Target executive vice president and chief human resources officer, writes that the company recently signed a court brief in favor of recent federal rulings that have struck down state prohibitions on same-sex marriage.

"It is our belief that everyone should be treated equally under the law, and that includes rights we believe individuals should have related to marriage," Kozlak writes. "We believe that everyone -- all of our team members and our guests -- deserve to be treated equally. And at Target we are proud to support the LGBT community."

Kozlak also portrays Target leadership's rationale for publicly supporting gay marriage in pragmatic terms.

"Current laws -- in places like Wisconsin and Indiana that are addressed in this [the relevant court case] -- make it difficult to attract and retain talent," she continues. "These disparate laws also create confusing and complicated benefits challenges across multiple states."

The move was applauded by the Human Rights Campaign. In a release, the HRC notes that despite Target's refusal to take an official position on marriage equality, the company received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's latest Corporate Equality Index, which scores American businesses on corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees.

"Today Target joins a growing chorus of Americans and businesses that know these bans on marriage equality serve no purpose other than to harm families," HRC President Chad Griffin says in the statement. "Discrimination should have no place in our society, much less our laws. We are grateful to Target for speaking out and standing up for the rights of not just its LGBT employees, but Americans from across the country who deserve to be treated with fairness and equality under the law."

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.





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81 comments
Dustin Hammond
Dustin Hammond

First off I'm pretty sure your objections to that lifestyle are based on religious grounds... (I did work with you after all) If not my apologies, but I have yet to meet one person with such strong convictions about that matter that don't have their views deeply intrenched with their holy book. Second, calling someone out for being a bigot isn't name calling. A bigot is a person that unfairly dislikes a group of people and that's what your doing... I'm sorry if you don't like the name, but if the shoe fits. It would be like saying calling someone a racist is name calling, it's not.

Ed Hovrud
Ed Hovrud

Oh the Horror of it all!!!! Kudos to Target for policies respecting human beings.

Stephanie Mischnick
Stephanie Mischnick

Freedom of speech just means the government can't jail you for what you say. Everyone else is totally allowed to judge if you say idiotic or bigoted things. Yay freedom.

Stephanie Mischnick
Stephanie Mischnick

It matters since conservative religious groups spurred the decision to endow corporations a la Hobby Lobby as people with rights to viewpoints. Target had better vocalize what they stand for, it impacts how they can treat employees and customers. I'm happy they stand for equal rights.

Sara Gurrola
Sara Gurrola

I'm surprised people haven't figured out that Target always supported gay marriage...

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

 Rupar, do a story on greedy rich asshole Stanley Hubbard conspiring to help his rich asshole buddy Stuart Mills by keeping this ad off the air.    Hubbard should not be allowed to control media in this town if he can't play fair.  


http://youtu.be/E7YmYTk8aNA

Руслан Мадолимов
Руслан Мадолимов

First of all, who said anything about religion? Second, Freedom of Speech gives me the right to criticism as well. All I'm saying is you're so quick to jump to conclusions and name calling that you forget "or" neglect to practice what you preach! So, actuality you're the one that intolerant, ignorant and hypocrite.

Dustin Hammond
Dustin Hammond

Freedom of speech lets you speak your mind and voice your opinion, but it doesn't allow you freedom of criticism. If you choose not to shop there that's your business, but society in majority doesn't agree with you or your religions backwards thinking.

Руслан Мадолимов
Руслан Мадолимов

So, basically if I don't agree with your point of view I'm automatically labeled as a bigot?! Wow, what happened to freedom of speech? Your massages totally proves who's the one that's intolerant of others. Next time practice what you preach.

Dave Kjellberg
Dave Kjellberg

Go pat yourself on the back some more Cory. You're such a crusader.

Dave Kjellberg
Dave Kjellberg

Yeah what's even more ignorant is for anybody, eapecially a corporation, to care if a man and a man get married. That's their business. Why do the rest of us have to be forced to it be made ours? I don't give a shit either way Corey James. So for you to call me a bigot really doesn't fit.

Corey James
Corey James

Good for Target. Doesn't make any difference to me though. As long as they allow guns, I'll be avoiding them like the plague.

Corey James
Corey James

Talk about an ignorant damned statement. Who cares? Obvious the right wing hypocrites you support do. If not, why do THEY waste so much time and taxpayer money trying to ban gay marriage? Freedom belongs to all. Not just to self-entitled, self-aggrandized, Teabagger clowns. First to whine they are being tread on. First to whine when someone they don't like, isn't. Funny how that works.

Corey James
Corey James

It's always easy to wonder why as long as it isn't you who's being tread upon.

Dan Hoffman
Dan Hoffman

Who cares? Target sucks. I should know because I wasted too many years of my life working for those vampires.

footnotegirl
footnotegirl

Good to hear, though I'm still not shopping with them until they require that their pharmacists fill women's prescriptions. 

Jeffrey Dunitz
Jeffrey Dunitz

Even if this is just an empty PR move, at least it's an empty gesture in the right direction. Yay for Target!

Jon Rrmc Wiswell
Jon Rrmc Wiswell

I saw that they had their pride lights on downtown again

Dave Kjellberg
Dave Kjellberg

All the issues in the world today and what do people care about? Whether 2 men or women can get married or not. Who gives a shit. That's the problem with liberals. No real priorities and they always need a back pat or recognition.

Jennifer Volstad
Jennifer Volstad

I came across a same sex anniversary card there last Saturday when shopping for an anniversary card for my friend. It was the most boring card I had ever seen, but it is a first step. As a company they don't need to approve or disapprove of marriage equality. But, if they want to stay relevant and continue to serve all people in the community (take their dollars), this is a small step I guess.

Stephen Noel
Stephen Noel

This is not news! Learn to live your life quietly. I'm different, you are different, other readers are different. What makes your group any more special than the rest of us? Learn to bury the axe of being forced in the closet and begin to quietly live your lives in peace just like the rest of us.

footnotegirl
footnotegirl

@digitalprotocol @footnotegirl Target allows their pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for women's contraceptives, creating an undue obstacle for women obtaining their legally prescribed medications based on false understanding of how contraceptives work and religious beliefs that have nothing to do with the workplace. 

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@footnotegirl what?  why would they do that? you mean like if the pharmacist is some stupid church goer and thinks its sinful?


isnt their job to dispense prescriptions?


why does nobody know about this?

footnotegirl
footnotegirl

@digitalprotocol Yes, if a pharmacist has religious beliefs that lead them to believe that, for any reason, women should not have contraceptives, they are allowed by many companies (not just Target, also Walmart, Snyders, and a few others) and by law in some states, to refuse to provide a woman her legally prescribed medications. They are also allowed to refuse to give adult women Plan B, which does not require a prescription but must be gotten from a pharmacist. Here are some pertinent information articles on this. 

http://www.nwlc.org/resource/pharmacy-refusals-101

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5018646


digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@footnotegirl @digitalprotocol hmmm i thought plan b was over the counter ...


seems like that ru476 shit is the better choice


why dont women do something about this???

footnotegirl
footnotegirl

@digitalprotocol Plan B is actually literally over the counter, i.e. the pharmacist keeps it behind the counter and has to check your ID for age (as it is only legal to sell to certain ages) before giving it to you. I am sure that things have changed somewhat, but when it first became OTC and I got a box, I had to show ID and then sign off on a sheet they kept behind the counter and talk to a pharmacist about possible side effects, etc. 

Why don't women do something about this? They are. They have been. There's a certain amount of fatigue as this situation has been going on for 9 years now and, frankly, it's a bit more of an emergency to deal with the fact that the anti-choice side is working very hard, and succeeding, in getting clinics (even those that don't provide abortions) closed and defunded across the country. Also, this is an issue that overwhelmingly restricts poor and rural women, who are more likely to not have transportation (and thus be able to just pick up and go to another pharmacy to get their prescription filled), and so it doesn't get as much media interest. 

It's still reason enough for me to not shop at Target. Costco for instance informed their pharmacists (at least in states where the conscience clause isn't legally required) that if they felt they couldn't do their whole jobs, they should find a position elsewhere. 

footnotegirl
footnotegirl

@digitalprotocol @footnotegirl In many states it is a government mandate, insofar as pharmacists are legally allowed to refuse to give women their prescriptions, so even companies that do NOT want to allow conscience clause are forced to. 

footnotegirl
footnotegirl

@digitalprotocol @footnotegirl Yeah, somehow I've never seen a pharmacist refuse Viagra to a guy without a wedding ring...

But men should care about women's access to contraceptives too. After all, it benefits them just as much.

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