Conservative groups that claim to support families are outraged today that Target has begun selling a series of t-shirts supporting National Pride Month, featuring rainbow designs and messages like, “Love is love,” “Pride,” and “Harmony.” Target has pledged that 100 percent of sales (up to $120,000) will go to benefit the Family Equality Council, which advocates for same-sex couples and their families. But Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council conveniently missed the memo about who Target is supporting, despite the fact it’s on the store’s website and in all other news reports about the special offer:
PERKINS: Target’s slogan is “expect more.” And when it comes to their politics, Americans do. Hello, I’m Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. One of America’s biggest companies isn’t just named Target–it’s becoming one. Starting May 20, the mega-chain’s introducing a new line of same-sex “marriage” merchandise that says, “Love is love.” Target promises to donate 100% of the profits to a national homosexual group–but they don’t specify which one. Retail analyst Britt Beemer says that Target’s strategy isn’t “very smart,” especially in conservative states, where it does the biggest business. “Anytime a retailer gets away from doing what they should be doing by being involved in a social cause, [they] lose.” The company said it wanted to “resonate beyond fashion.” But if they’re looking to resonate with Americans, they ought to try defending marriage. According to voters, the country’s still very opposed to redefining it. Let Target know that its agenda isn’t your style. Log on to target.com, scroll down, and click “Contact Us.”
It seems odd that Perkins is the only person who doesn’t know what organization Target is supporting, but perhaps he simply doesn’t wish to explain why the Family Research Council is at odds with the Family Equality Council. It’s also probably not “very smart” to attack a store for making a business decision in which they are not actually trying to make money. Besides, despite whatever Perkins might spin about state ballot initiatives, polling continues to show that a majority of Americans support marriage equality.
The American Family Association is also angry at Target, but at least Tim Wildmon acknowledged that the store “purposely” chose to “offend” him by “donating cash to support the Family Equality Council’s push for legalizing homosexual marriage.” Given that AFA claims there is a “War on Christmas” because department stores do not feature enough Christmas messaging in December, this new campaign of theirs is arguably a “War on Gays.”
Target faced a large backlash in 2010 when it gave $150,000 to support anti-gay Republican Tom Emmer for governor of Minnesota. Last year, court documents revealed that Target executives have previously expressed concern that they might be perceive as supporting same-sex marriage. The Minnesota-based company has remained neutral on a proposed marriage inequality amendment on the ballot in November.