Activists angry at Target for
supporting an anti-gay marriage gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota
are pressing on with their protests after the company apologized.
The Minnesota-based retail giant
apologized last week for contributing $150,000 to MN Forward, an
independent political fund supporting anti-gay Republican Tom Emmer.
Emmer clinched the GOP nomination for Minnesota governor Tuesday.
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.
But the Facebook page Boycott
Target Until They Cease Funding Anti-Gay Politics continues
to attract members at a fast clip, more than 50,000 as of Friday.
Emmer has been linked to the Christian
rock band You
Can Run But You Can't Hide International, which strongly
opposes gay rights. The group's leader, Bradlee Dean, and Emmer met
earlier this year.
The Republican told the Minnesota
Star-Tribune that he paid $250 to attend a fundraising event
for the tax-exempt religious group that brings its hard rock gospel
into public schools.
“These are nice people,” Emmer told
the paper. “Are we going to agree on everything? No. … I really
appreciate their passion and … I respect their point of view.”
the boycott is the left-leaning group MoveOn.
“Target has spent over $150,000 in
the Minnesota governor's race backing state Rep. Tom Emmer, a
far-right Republican who supports Arizona's draconian immigration
law, wants to abolish the minimum wage and even gave money to a
fringe group that condoned the execution of gay people,” the group
wrote in calling for a boycott against the retailer. “Target must
think customers won't care. They're wrong: We do care, and we need
to let them know that we want Target – and all corporations – out
of our elections.”
Complicating matters is Target's
current bid to open two stores in the epicenter of the gay rights
movement, San Francisco, where the retailer's actions have some city
The Los Angeles Times reported
that Target is in talks with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest gay rights advocate. The group wants Target and
Best Buy Co., which also contributed to MN Forward, to make amends to
the gay community.
“It's time to make things right,”
HRC said in a letter published in the Minnesota Star-Tribune.
“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.”
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