WASHINGTON – After two weeks of good-faith discussions – and two tentative agreements – with Target Corp., the company has informed the Human Rights Campaign that it will take no corrective actions to repair the harm that it caused by contributing $150,000 to an organization supporting a vehemently anti-gay candidate closely associated with a Christian rock band that advocates death and violence to gay people.
In response, HRC said it will devote $150,000 of its own resources to help elect a pro-equality governor and legislature in Minnesota. The next governor will likely have the opportunity to either sign or veto marriage equality legislation in the North Star State.
“All fair-minded Americans will now rightly question Target’s commitment to equality. If their initial contribution was a slap in the face, their refusal to make it right is a punch in the gut and that’s not something that we will soon forget,” HRC President Joe Solmonese said. “However, with full marriage equality hanging in the balance in Minnesota, regardless of Target, it’s important that we as a community send a message that we will work tirelessly to elect pro-equality candidates.”
As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, corporations are now permitted to give unlimited amounts of shareholder cash to certain political committees. Target has made a conscious decision to place stores in LGBT communities throughout the nation. In fact, two stores are currently under development in the City of San Francisco.
All eyes are now on Best Buy, another Minnesota-based company, that also made a political contribution to MN Forward, the group supporting Tom Emmer, one of the most strident opponents of equality in Minnesota to vie for the governor’s mansion. Best Buy has yet to respond.
“Target and Best Buy have – and no doubt will continue to have – model employment policies for LGBT people. We will continue to support those efforts. But before they can regain that exalted status among their consumers, they need to make things right in Minnesota,” Solmonese said. “The nation’s LGBT community has shown these two companies enormous customer loyalty. Now it’s time for that faithfulness to be returned.”