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Target tries to atone for anti-gay missteps with new pro-marriage equality promotion

Target is donating all proceeds from a new collection to a GLBT-friendly organization.
Target is donating all proceeds from a new collection to a GLBT-friendly organization.

In August 2010, news of Target's $150,000 donation to the anti-gay, pro-Tom Emmer Minnesota Forward organization created a shit-storm of bad PR.

The company's handling of the controversy didn't help -- from CEO Gregg Stienhafel's non-apology apology, to reports that Target kept on giving to anti-gay politicians after the Emmer fiasco, to Lady Gaga's decision to end a short-lived exclusive partnership with the company over its stance toward the GLBT community, Target ending up alienating a lot of its GLBT-friendly customers and workers.

Now the company is trying to atone. Yesterday, Target announced it will funnel more than $100,000 to the pro-marriage equality Family Equality Council through proceeds from a special online collection.

Through June 30, all proceeds from the "Wear It With Pride" collection will be donated to the Family Equality Council. Proceeds beyond that? Michele Bachmann would enjoy another contribution from Target, we suppose, though the company revised its political donation policy early last year, making it more difficult for conservative CEO Stienhafel to funnel money from Target's PAC to the candidates he probably supports as a private citizen.

Target has been a longtime supporter of the Minneapolis Pride Parade, and organizer Dot Belstler told Fox 9 that she thinks "maybe the donation to Minnesota Forward and the backlash really served as a catalyst for employees inside of Target to have their voices heard."

For what it's worth, the company has publicly denied that the "Wear It With Pride" promotion has any connection with the Emmer fiasco.

Of course, it's hard to please everyone. While we're sure the GLBT community will be pleased about the "Wear It With Pride" promotion, Target's gay-friendly gesture has already alienated customers on the other side of the social-issues spectrum. For instance, take a gander at the first two comments on the Fox report:

Target tries to atone for anti-gay missteps with new pro-marriage equality promotion

Perhaps, in response to conservatives like Price and Renneke, Target will launch a "Save the Family" collection and give the proceeds to the Minnesota Family Council? Given the gay-friendly values the company has publicly championed for much of its history, let's hope executives learned a lesson in 2010 and can refrain from saying one thing and doing another this campaign cycle.

See also:
-- Target apologizes for funding Tom Emmer ad
-- Target's gay problem keeps getting worse
-- Target kept on giving to anti-gay politicians after Emmer fiasco
-- Target changes political donation policy
-- Lady Gaga dumps Target over anti-gay donations


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