Creating Change, the five-day queer mega-conference wrapping up today in Minneapolis, didn’t just appear from pixie dust and Rea Carey’s crossed fingers. No, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which hosts the event, requires some serious cash infusions from corporate sponsors to make it all happen. And who’s donating some dinero right up there next to American Airlines, Hilton Worldwide, and General Mills? Oh, just a little electronics retailer called Best Buy, which donated $100,000 to Minnesota Forward, the PAC that tried (and failed) to elect Tom Emmer governor of Minnesota. Yes, that’s the same PAC to which Target donated $100k in cash and $50k in services — and was awarded the ire of Gay America, thanks in part to his support of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
NGLTF describes the Creating Change conference as “the nation’s pre-eminent political, leadership and skills-building conference for the LGBT social justice movement” that seeks to “build our movement’s political power from the ground up to secure our overarching goal of full equality, social justice and dignity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the United States.”
But one way you might start securing our full equality, social justice, and dignity is by not accepting money from companies that actively work to keep queer Americans second-class. You know, because then gays might get the wrong idea about which companies they should support: the ones that work against us, the ones that support us, or the ones who try to have it both ways all in the name of earnings.
(At least it wasn’t Chick-fil-A that sponsored Creating Change, but Chili’s — the least favorite restaurant of Peter LaBarbera.)
As Queerty reader David notes, “Was there ever a statement from Best Buy saying that they regretted their $100,000 donation to Minnesota Forward and thus gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer? Have they ever said that they have changed their policies and will not support anti-LGBT politicians?” Nope.
(Full disclosure: Queerty appeared on a panel at Creating Change. We did not receive a free Blu-ray player.)