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Controversy Ensues Over Target's $150K Donation to Anti-Gay Candidate, but is it Right to Boycott the Store?

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Image via SFist


Image via SFist
As Target plans new stores throughout the Los Angeles area, they've come upon controversy and it's not about city planning. Thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling that allows companies to make campaign contributions, the hipper alternative to Wal-Mart recently made a direct $150,000 donation to a Minnesota Political Action Committee backing the state's Republican Candidate.

"So, to follow the money," Matt Baume writes at SFist, "Target gave $150,000 to Minnesota Forward, which bought TV ads for [Gubernatorial Republican candidate] Tom Emmer, who says "I believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman," and who hangs out with a guy [Christian Rocker Bradlee Dean] who thinks killing gays is moral."

The Target Corporation says their support of the LGBT community is "unwavering" and that the donation was to support the company's business objects of job creation and growth.

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"But, at what point do we say, 'this person may be good for the bottom line but they want to hurt people and we can't support that,'" questioned Baume. "While Target didn't know about Dean's 'kill the gays' bile, the certainly knew that Emmer wants to stop gays from marrying, and they want ahead and gave him the money anyway."

In light of the recent news, openly-gay state Rep. Greg Harris, who recently celebrated the opening of a new Target in his Chicago district, told Chicago pride that "companies like Target need to understand that they can't have it both ways when it comes to issues of our basic rights, and that the facts will eventually come out. I hope that they will rethink this contribution and find a way to make it right."

One Facebook group urging people to boycott Target has grown some 4,000 people since yesterday afternoon. And others are passing around a link to the Human Rights Campaign Buying for Equality guide (.pdf), which includes Target in its 2010 edition (but maybe not 2011?).