Institutional shareholders are demanding Target overhaul its campaign donation policies as a boycott over an anti-gay donation gains steam, the Los Angeles Times reported.

On Thursday, three management firms announced they have sponsored a resolution demanding the retail giant rethink its donation policies to avoid future potential political hot button issues.

The action comes just days after the progressive group launched a new ad urging shoppers to boycott the retail giant for contributing $150,000 to MN Forward, an independent political fund supporting Tom Emmer, the anti-gay Republican nominee for Minnesota governor. The Minnesota-based business apologized for the donation but rejected a request from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights advocate, to give an equal amount of money to a pro-gay candidate.

Emmer has been linked to the Christian rock band You Can Run But You Can't Hide International, whose members strongly oppose gay rights. He also opposes the right of gay men and lesbians to marry.

The Facebook page Boycott Target Until They Cease Funding Anti-Gay Politics has attracted nearly 70,000 members. But social conservatives opposed to the boycott have also begun to organize. Their page I Will NOT Boycott Target for Supporting a Conservative Candidate has over 20,000 members and features a Target logo emblazoned with the words “RIGHT ON.”

Tim Smith, a senior vice president at Walden Asset Management, which is sponsoring the resolution along with Calvert Asset Management and Trillium Asset Management, cautioned that “imprudent donations can potentially have a major negative impact on company reputations and businesses if they don't carefully and fully assess a candidate's positions.”

While together the firms hold $57.5 million of Target stock, it's only a small fraction of the company's outstanding shares. However, other institutional shareholders are considering signing on to the resolution.

Electronics giant Best Buy Co. and other Minnesota-based businesses – including Red Wing Shoes and Polaris Industries, Inc., a manufacturer of snowmobiles – are also being criticized for contributing to MN Forward. Many critics, however, say they feel a sense of betrayal from Target, which gave the most money and has a strong history of supporting the gay community.