Target Corp. is selling shirts in an effort to raise money for a group that is trying to defeat a gay marriage ban in Minnesota. This comes only two years after the company provided a donation to a politician who was against gay marriage and was running for a governor’s office. In November, Minnesota voters will take to the polls to decide whether or not the state will put a ban on gay marriage into the constitution for the state.
“Target is attacking traditional marriage, which is an incredibly misguided thing for them to have done,” said Chuck Darrell, who is a spokesman for Minnesota for Marriage. The group is trying to get the ban passed at this year’s election. “It’s an insult to the overwhelming majority of their customers.”
Just two years ago, Target made a $150,000 donation to a campaign that backed Republican Tom Emmer, who was running for governor of Minnesota. Emmer lost to Democrat Mark Dayton in an election that required an automatic recount. Now, the shirt promotion will raise close to $120,000 for a group called the Family Equality Council, which is based in Washington. The shirts will sell for $12.99 on the company’s website until the end of June or as long as supplies last. The shirts are offered in four different designs and feature the words “harmony” and “pride.” One of the shirts was designed by Gwen Stefani that features a rainbow and a cloud that proclaims ‘LOVE IS LOVE.’
A spokeswoman for the company, Molly Snyder, said that the promotion was started by a group of Target employees who are gay. Snyder said that the promotion is the second to benefit a specific group, with the first one benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital last holiday season.
“Target is pleased to be able to bring our guests products they want while, in turn, helping support the LGBT community through the donation of 100 percent of the purchase price to the Family Equality Council,” the company said in a statement.
Jennifer Chrisler, the director for Family Equality Council, said that the proceeds from the shirt promotion will fund the work her group does around the nation. Chrisler also said that Target is supporting Family Equality Council retreats in Massachusetts and California for gay families.
“I know and understand what a big reaction that donation had two years ago, and I think they have taken steps, serious steps, to show that they understood that reaction,” Chrisler said. “But I really think this is an extension of the longtime partnership we have had and their commitment to family.”