Two years ago Target Corporation gave $150,000 to a campaign group backing a conservative Minnesota governor candidate and fiery gay marriage opponent. The Republican candidate ended up losing the election anyway, but the donation did place a target <sorry> on their backs, angering those in favor of marriage equality, and setting off protests and calls for a boycott.
Now the progressive retailer has announced it plans to raise $120,000 for the Family Equality Council, a group that is part of a Minnesota coalition pushing to defeat a potential state constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage in the state by selling t-shirts with pro-equality messages. The T-shirt promotion was organized by a group of gay Target employees and their allies.
Now guess who’s pissed off?
"Target is attacking traditional marriage, which is an incredibly misguided thing for them to have done," said Chuck Darrell, spokesman for Minnesota for Marriage, a group campaigning to pass the constitutional marriage amendment. "It's an insult to the overwhelming majority of their customers."
We've seen this argument before--with the attacks on JC Penney for signing Ellen Degeneres as a spokesman. Opponents used the "bad for business and against the will of the customers" tactic then too.
We’re not sure where Mr. Darrell got his data on Target customers, but polling says that 53 percent of Americans say gay marriage should be legal.
We’re also not entirely sure how giving rights to someone is harmful to those who already have those rights (its not like anyone is trying to take their rights away), but that is an argument for another day.
The $12.99 shirts will be sold on Target's website through June, or while supplies last. They come in four designs, emblazoned with words such as "harmony" and "pride." Singer Gwen Stefani designed one shirt featuring a rainbow and a cloud that says, "LOVE IS LOVE."