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 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, 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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  1. 0
    Mycroft Holmes says:

    THe distinction between Target and GameStop is that GS sells exclusively games while Target has a number of other areas that it sells.

    If this had been about Target selling a game that angered a GLBT group, it would have been totally legit to be here.

    As it stands, this article has no reason to be here.



  2. 0
    Weatherlight says:

    Lets talk about speedway then, they sell game cards and sometimes those cool little poker games. I have even seen some Xbox games on sale there…


  3. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Exactly.  As far as brick-and-mortar retail outlets is concerned, I like them.  The people who work in Electronics are usually not douchebags, and they don’t try to rip people off.

    I mean, if it were GameStop, we wouldn’t be having this discussion, would we?

    With the first link, the chain is forged.

  4. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Exactly. gets it’s money from corporations, too, so them saying anything is really the pot calling the kettle black.

    With the first link, the chain is forged.

  5. 0
    questionmark1987 says:

    "Third, has spent more money on campaigns than almost any other group, save maybe the SEIU, another liberal group, so they really have no moral high ground to stand on when it comes to an "attempt to buy elections," as they put it." is a political organization. Target is a business. MoveOn’s members know what they are supporting when they join and pay into the organization and volunteer to support those ideas/agendas. Target employs any random person and sells to anyone and those people aren’t told what politics they are supporting and don’t get a voice in making decisions for the company.

    No, I’m sorry it’s not the same thing. Frankly I don’t want businesses having any right to spend any money on elections. If someone who OWNs a business or WORKs at a business supports a candidate or agenda they should use their own personal money to donate to it, if your entire employee base supports something and pays into it that will be a large contribution and a better example of a democratic society. Businesses should use their money for one thing and one thing only, to run their business (which includes paying their employees who can then donate).

  6. 0
    Weatherlight says:

    Remember we can only judge people on one issue, and that is their views on Race/Gender/Sexual Persasion, not their politics as a whole. people forget we are supposed to elect someone for what they can offer to the comunity as a whole, not always their personal beliefs.


  7. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    A couple of asides:

    First, his name is Tom Emmer, with an r.

    Second, Target didn’t give directly to his campaign, nor did it donate to quash any gay rights agenda.  They gave money to Minnesota Forward, a pro-Emmer group that makes their own ads to support a conservative agenda in Minnesota, in a similar vein to  They did this to support Emmer’s pro-business agenda, and nothing more.

    Third, has spent more money on campaigns than almost any other group, save maybe the SEIU, another liberal group, so they really have no moral high ground to stand on when it comes to an "attempt to buy elections," as they put it.  The US Supreme Court says that what Target did is perfectly legal and is protected via the First Amendment, so maybe they should just shut the fuck up about it.

    Finally, I think that HRC is absolutely insane in demanding that corporations who financially support Emmer in some fashion should support his opponent as well.  The reason they aren’t supporting former Senator Mark Dayton is because of his blatant anti-business policies.  It has absolutely nothing to do with gay rights.

    With the first link, the chain is forged.

  8. 0
    gellymatos says:

    In the end, they’re just getting upset over what every politically motivated group gets upset about: Someone they don’t like getting money. No matter how indirect the source.

    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

  9. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    That’s been my biggest problem with this whole situation, that this whole "gay rights" thing was literally just tacked on.  It was literally Target giving money to a cause to improve businesses in Minnesota, and then this group gave money to Tom Emmer’s campaign.  Then, a gay rights group makes the jump to Target being anti-gay (which they aren’t, I’ve worked there and personally witnessed how pro-gay they are as an organization) because Tom Emmer supported a bill against gay marriage here in Minnesota that never even got out of committee.

    With the first link, the chain is forged.

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