Target Faces Ire of Gay Rights Advocates over Campaign Contribution

Target is feeling a fair amount of heat over donations it made to a Minnesota politician who opposes gay marriage this week. According to a Politico report, the company isn’t backing down from its decision to do that and has rebuffed suggestions that it donates a similar amount to pro-gay candidates. Decidedly liberal group MoveOn.org is cheesed off about all of that and is taking the fight to airwaves and the street.

The group has created a 30-second ad slamming Target and asking consumers to boycott the nationwide retailer. The battle is all about Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, who received a $150,000 donation from Target. Human Rights Campaign and other gay rights groups are trying to apply pressure and turn public opinion against the company for its support of the would-be governor because of his staunch opposition to gay marriage.

We’re not sure that it is working, but MoveOn is certainly a powerful force when it excerts to full measure of its wrath on a target.

Target this week issued a statement claiming that it "maintains and fully supports the gay and lesbian community in its workplaces and through corporate sponsorships."

MoveOn sees it differently: "Target’s refusal to acknowledge its customers’ outrage at their attempt to buy elections is scandalous," Justin Ruben, Executive Director of MoveOn.org, said in the statement. "Americans have spoken: we don’t want corporations meddling in our democracy. Corporate money in elections is nothing more than political bribery and we’re not going to stop targeting Target until they stop trying to buy our elections."

Human Rights Campaign had hoped for a happier ending. The group had tried to convince the firm to donate $150,000 to pro-gay rights candidates and groups in Minnesota. After what Politico calls "weeks of negotiations," HRC officials said that those talks had "broken down without a deal." Instead, HRC will now spend $150,000 of its resources to defeat Emmer.

The gay community is also pressuring Best Buy, which donated $100,000 to Minnesota Forward’s pro-Emmer advertising campaign. While Best Buy receives one of the highest corporate rankings for workplace equality issues from the HRC, the move has angered the gay community. While acknowledging Best Buy’s positive workplace policies, HRC says that the company still needs to "make things right in Minnesota."

Source: Politico

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