Retail giant Target is suing a San
Diego-based progressive group that supports gay marriage, among other
issues, the AP reported.
The retailer wants Canvass
For A Cause (CFAC) to stop talking to its customers outside its
San Diego County stores. Target says the group's activities are
disruptive and driving away customers.
The trial, which opens Fridays,
promises to further tarnish Target's reputation among progressives.
Target found itself the target of a
boycott last year after it was disclosed that the Minnesota-based
company had given $150,000 to MN Forward, an independent political
fund supporting Tom Emmer, the anti-gay Republican nominee who lost
his bid to become Minnesota's next governor. Target CEO Gregg
Steinhafel apologized for the contribution, 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.
And a deal to sell a deluxe edition of
Lady Gaga's second studio album Born This Way was axed earlier
this month after the singer backed out. Lady Gaga, an avid supporter
of gay rights, said that the
decision “hinged” on Target making “amends for the mistakes
they've made in the past.”
told the AP that its “legal action was in no way related to the
cause of the organization and was done so to be consistent with our
long-standing policy of providing a distraction-free shopping
experience by not permitting solicitors at our stores.”
For A Cause director Tres Watson said the company is biased against
his group because it promotes gay marriage.
very David vs. Goliath,” he said. “We understand they're the
Goliath in the room. They've got all [the] money in the world to get
us to stop talking about gay marriage.”
suit, Target alleges that the group, formed in 2009, is too
aggressive, often cornering customers to debate their views on gay
marriage, claims the group has denied.
For A Cause argues that shopping centers have become today's public
squares and points to recent court rulings that support its claim.