Target apologized Thursday for
supporting an anti-gay marriage gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota,
the AP reported.
In a memo to employees, Target CEO
Gregg Steinhafel wrote that he continues to believe that a “business
climate conducive to growth is critical to our future,” but added
he had not anticipated how the donation would affect its employees.
“And for that I am genuinely sorry,” Steinhafel wrote.
Gay groups had criticized the
Minnesota-based retail giant's $150,000 contribution to MN Forward,
an independent political fund supporting anti-gay Republican
candidate Tom Emmer.
Emmer, a fierce social conservative,
has spoken in favor of putting a gay marriage ban in the Minnesota
The move promoted talk of boycotts
against Target and other Minnesota-based companies that had given
to MN Forward, including electronics giant Best Buy Co., Red Wing
Shoes and Polaris Industries Inc., a manufacturer of snowmobiles.
The businesses were taking advantage of
a recent Supreme Court ruling that knocked down parts of a
63-year-old law that banned corporations from making campaign
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest gay advocate, published an open letter to Target and
Best Buy in the Minnesota Star-Tribune calling on the
companies to make amends.
“It's time to make things right,”
the letter says. “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
Target, which contributed the most
money, said nearly two weeks ago that the donation was more about
supporting pro-business candidates than anything else and insisted
its support of the gay community is “unwavering.”
in the race to win their party's August 10 nomination support
legalizing gay marriage. A July 21 Rasmussen poll found all three
hopefuls enjoying a narrow lead over Emmer.
One of those
Democrats, ironically, is former Senator Mark Dayton, whose family