Target's $150,000 Donation To Fund Anti-Gay Politics
Target, practically everyone's favorite discount retail store, is headquartered in Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes. But along with precious bodies of water, Minnesota is home to some pretty rabid anti-gay politicians and groups. Among them include Tom Emmer. And Target, it seems, is apparently filling his campaign coffers with nearly $150,000.
Follow the money. At least, that's the message delivered by an article at sfist.com by Matt Baume, who tracks $150,000 from Target's coffers, through a political action committee (PAC) known as Minnesota Forward, all the way to Tom Emmer, who himself supports a Christian rock band in Minnesota that travels around the state saying that it's moral and righteous for religious people to kill gays and lesbians.
For those into algebra, it looks a little like this: Target + Minnesota Forward + Tom Emmer = Support for a rather dangerous and radical political philosophy that diminishes LGBT people to pests that should be murdered. And Target is cool with this?
Send the company a message right now, urging them to explain why their money is being used to fund a politics that not only serves to prevent LGBT equality, but breeds homophobia, transphobia and hatred.
Send Target a message:
Mother of Gay Son Stands Up to Target for Anti-Gay Donation
Get your Kleenex ready, because one of the sweetest mothers in the entire country just smacked back at Target for its anti-gay donation of $150,000 to an organization supporting a politician in Minnesota, Tom Emmer, who believes that gay and lesbian Americans should be second class citizens.
The mother's name is Randi Reitan, and she notes in a video (which you can also view at the bottom of this post) that she is both a mother and a grandmother, and someone who has been shopping at Target for years. It pains her to see Target give money to people who want to hurt gays and lesbians.
"Last week when I heard that Target decided to give $150,000 to Tom Emmer, for his political race for Governor, I just was shocked," Reitan said. "The Target I knew was the Target that embraced its gay employees, it was the Target that showed up for pride."
But that's not the Target that Reitan and thousands of other people know anymore. Reitan went shopping at Target for the last time, and films it below in the video. She returns every single item she purchased ($226 worth of merchandise), and says that until Target makes amends for supporting such an anti-gay candidate – one that would harm the gays and lesbians in her life, including her son -- she just can't shop there. And watch the emotion around the 2:10 mark. It's the sentiment that only a mother who loves her son more than anything in the world could give.
"A number of the items were for my grandchildren, and they love their Uncle Jake so much, and Jake is gay. They wouldn't want to have things come from a store that contributes to a campaign that would have a governor candidate with the anti-gay views that Tom Emmer has," Reitan said. "They've lost every purchase from my family. What's important in life is people. And I love the people in my life. I love them more than anything that I could buy in this store."
Randi Reitan, I heart you. And I'm pretty sure after seeing your video, the whole country is going to heart you. Except for maybe a few Target executives. But they're much more interested in someone like Rep. Michele Bachmann, anyway.
Video available at the link above.
The link for the most recent news story post is:
There are at least 3 related short vids at:
Thanks, leatherbear, for bring this story to our attention.
Here's the backstory: Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Target had donated $150,000 to the political committee MN Forward. Best Buy pitched in another $100,000.
MN Forward's mission? Elect as governor an anti-LGBT state representative with a long history of attacks on LGBT Americans. This representative's campaign even donated to a controversial "punk-rock Christian ministry" whose leader has advocated executing gays and lesbians!
After all these two companies have done to build a fair and equitable workplace, it's a slap in the face. In years past, Target and Best Buy consistently received 100 percent ratings on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality Index.
They need to make this right – by donating an equal amount to support candidates who will fight for equality. But they won't do it just because we ask. They need to see that hundreds of thousands of customers across the country are upset and disappointed.
President - HRC
An Open Letter to Target and Best Buy
When lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender consumers — not to mention our
millions of supportive friends and family members — used to think about Target
and Best Buy, we saw two shining examples of corporations that respected the
equality and dignity of every American. As nationwide retailers, both of your brands gave
other corporations a standard to which they could aspire. In fact, your consistent ratings of
100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index were a
solid signal of your commitment to a diverse workforce. As a community, we are grateful for
that commitment and we fully expect it will continue.
Now, Americans are questioning their loyalty to your brands with word of significant
contributions to the political action committee MN Forward that hopes to install one of
the most strident opponents of equality in the Minnesota Governor’s mansion. With these
contributions, you have severely damaged those carefully cultivated reputations and violated
the spirit of the gold standards bestowed on you. In fact, the long-term effects on families
that shop at Target and Best Buy throughout Minnesota and the U.S. will be devastating.
At this critical time in Minnesotans’ quest for equality, MN Forward and the candidates they are
supporting would turn Minnesota backward, away from the promise of equal opportunity
and fairness that we hold dear. No matter your motivations in making these donations, they
didn’t occur in a vacuum. Same-sex couples in your home state are denied the equality given
to other couples in marriage and many state leaders are poised to right that inequity very
soon. $250,000 in contributions to those who would stand in the way is a punch in the gut
to those of us who want to see all families treated fairly. What may have sounded like a
“good business decision” in the board room turns out to be a horribly short-sighted business
decision when millions of consumers lose respect for your companies.
With the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, the landscape for political contributions
has changed in ways that no one fully appreciates yet. Your foray into this uncharted water
has proved choppy and should serve as a warning to other corporations mindful of the
perceptions of LGBT and allied consumers.
It’s time to make things right. The very least you can do to begin rebuilding
your image among fair-minded consumers is to make equivalent donations to
groups that support candidates who will put all Minnesota families first and
fulfill the promises of our highest ideals.
We’re watching and we’re waiting.
*Sign your name to this open letter to Target and Best Buy at HRC.org