Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay advocate, will drop Target and Best Buy from its annual buyer's guide after the companies supported an anti-gay candidate.

Both companies are facing growing criticism over their donations to MN Forward, an independent political fund supporting Tom Emmer, the anti-gay Republican nominee for Minnesota governor.

The progressive group has launched ads urging shoppers to boycott the Minnesota-based retail giant for its $150,000 contribution. The group says corporations should stay out of politics.

Institutional shareholders are pressuring Target to rethink its donation policies to avoid future political stumbles.

HRC had urged the companies to even the score by giving an equal amount of money to a pro-gay candidate. Target apologized for the MN Forward donation but rejected HRC's request on Monday.

On Friday, the gay rights group announced that Target and Best Buy would be dropped from its annual Buying for Equality Guide.

HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz said in a statement that the group “will not encourage people to shop at either store” and that “both companies will soon be removed from it [the guide].”

The buyer's guide is based on rankings from HRC's Corporate Equality Index, which measures a company's support for its LGBT employees. The index takes into consideration company policies that affect gay workers, such as banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and providing equal access to benefits.

Both Target and Best Buy scored 100% in the group's 2010 index, released late last year. HRC said it is reevaluating its methodology before releasing its 2011 index.