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hacktivism

Why PFLAG Is Proving to Be Just As Useless As HRC When It Comes to Target’s Anti-Gay Financing

We already know the Human Rights Campaign is entirely useless in battling back against Target’s anti-gay political donations, but what about PFLAG? Oh, that looks like a lost cause too.

Randi Reitan, Target’s newly famous ex-shopper, is a PFLAG mom in Minneapolis, where Target is based. So you would think the attention she’s received, from her YouTube video that went viral and the press that’s accompanied it, would trigger PLFAG — which claims to oppose any effort to ban marriage equality, and insists it “works to achieve equal civil rights for all people, including our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) loved ones” — would jump at the chance to hammer away at the retailer.

Too bad Brad Wagner, Target’s diversity consultant or whatever, sits on the board of Twin Cities PFLAG. You might recognize Wagner as the guy who met Reitan and a slew of other anti-Target demonstrators when they dropped off, at Target’s headquarters, 240,000 names of consumers who say they’re going to stop shopping at Target until they make it right.

It’s impossible to say that the relationship between Target’s Wagner and PFLAG is the reason the advocacy group has remained disturbingly silent. But it’s this mix of corporate dollars and supposedly independent pro-LGBT activist groups — similar to what GLAAD faces with the money it receives from television networks — that cripples the ability of these organizations to do the very work they were set up to complete.

 

Oh, and what’s that flashing at the bottom of PFLAG Twin Cities’ homepage? Oh, that’s right: the ultimate scarlet letter. Is that all it takes to buy off PFLAG’s integrity?

[photo via]

By:           Ryan Tedder
On:           Aug 9, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,
  • 36 Comments
    • Thomas Johnson
      Thomas Johnson

      HRC is useless in battling back against Target? Really, maybe you missed the full page ad HRC took out in the Minneapolis Star Tribune a week ago Sunday? Maybe you missed the fact that the only way HRC is telling Target they can make it right is by making an equal contribution to the democratic gubernatorial candidate.
      Same old same old from Queerty.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 3:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Thomas Johnson:

      Thomas, Really? And Maybe YOU missed that HRC’s FIRST response was to say “Oh, gee, our scoring doesn’t take pac donations into account so Target still gets a 100 from us.”

      They were not going to deal with this issue until, as seems to always be the case with them, the issue appeared to be moving on without them. THEN they finally come around and do or say something.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 3:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kurt
      Kurt

      PFAG whores

      Aug 9, 2010 at 3:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sid
      Sid

      Maybe Target giving money to PFLAG is a sign that Target is doing something right, not that PFLAG is doing something wrong.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 3:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thomas Johnson
      Thomas Johnson

      @Cam
      Oh no Cam, I did not miss that. But lets be clear that Target is donating based on a decision by the Supreme Court that cleared the way for corporations to give in this manner.
      The Corporate Equality Index did not need to take this into account previously.
      Perhaps, HRC is evaluating this, but as it stands, HRC DID receive a perfect 100 based on they criteria.
      That is a fact.

      I get it Cam, you don’t like HRC. Take your money and give to someone else. Same same same. Do you ever feel like a broken record that no one else listens to? As much as you bitch, the annual budget has not really gone down much. I don’t think they miss your $35 that you gave in 2001.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 3:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Thomas Johnson: said…

      @Cam
      Oh no Cam, I did not miss that. But lets be clear that Target is donating based on a decision by the Supreme Court that cleared the way for corporations to give in this manner.
      The Corporate Equality Index did not need to take this into account previously.
      Perhaps, HRC is evaluating this, but as it stands, HRC DID receive a perfect 100 based on they criteria.
      That is a fact.
      _______________________

      Yes, and the fact also is that organization or businesses that do not change with the times are doomed to irrelevence. HRC is a national advocacy organization based in Washington DC who’s main purpose is supposed to be to lobby for our rights, they are supposed to be clued in, and yet they never adjusted their scoring when this rule change came about, and their first response to this incident was to defend Target and their scoring system rather than say something like “We are reevaluating our scoring now that this information has become available.”

      It is supposedly HRC’s job to know what is going on in the Federal govt. Don’t defend somebody to me because they didn’t even bother to keep up with the information they are supposed to know.

      (Oh, and your bitchy little $35.00 comment…how perfectly you illustrated all the complaints people seem to have about HRC, you all should make up your mind, either you are trying to (incorrectly) brag about the majority of your donations being small, or you attack and mock people you perceive as having only given $35.00. Again, this is their JOB, don’t I’m not going to feel sorry for them because they were caught off guard, and then refused to react until forced to.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 3:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thomas Johnson
      Thomas Johnson

      Oh Cam, I am not part of HRC. Not a board member, employee, etc. I just get sick of this site constantly going after them.

      Have you ever worked with an organization that has a product or service that is put out annually? You don’t snap your fingers and say this scoring can be changed. I am quite sure it will go through many revisions to make sure it is done correctly. But I am also quite certain, it will be changed.

      Call my comment bitchy, but you did not deny that you may or may not have given $35…once.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Thomas Johnson: said..

      Oh Cam, I am not part of HRC. Not a board member, employee, etc. I just get sick of this site constantly going after them.

      Have you ever worked with an organization that has a product or service that is put out annually? You don’t snap your fingers and say this scoring can be changed. I am quite sure it will go through many revisions to make sure it is done correctly. But I am also quite certain, it will be changed.

      Call my comment bitchy, but you did not deny that you may or may not have given $35…once.
      ________________________________________________

      Trying to compare a product to HRC’s ratings is ridiculous. Again, they didn’t even have to change the scoring system. They just needed to acknowlege at the time that there may be issues with it. There response was the same response typical of them. Oh, well our scoring doesn’t take that into consideration end of story. If they were so concerned, why not at that time call on Target to do something? Why not say they were going to put out an ad? They didn’t do that until the boycott movement got moving.

      As to your last comment, again, you are just acting like what HRC’s is always accused of acting like. Most people on here would give a hell of a lot more than $35.00 if the organization seemed to be more concerned about gay rights, than about keeping their own jobs and parties secure.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 4:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thomas Johnson
      Thomas Johnson

      @ Cam.

      Yawn. I’m bored.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @Thomas Johnson:

      Ooooooooh the Miineapolis Star Tribune.

      They should have used the crowbar and opened thier multi-million dollar wallet and also put them in the New York Tomes and other major newspapers for maximum impact.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 4:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • damon459
      damon459

      This whole story is beyond tired I refuse to boycott a company that my gay brothers and sisters work for who would that benefit if they end up unemployed in this economy.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 4:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • UMB
      UMB

      Wait… Target donates money to PFLAG and Queerty is COMPLAINING about it?

      Hacktivism? Hack journalism.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 4:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • greybat
      greybat

      Whenever you dig up a little dirt, what do you usually find?
      More dirt!

      http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2010/08/targets_gay_pro.php

      Aug 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dawson
      Dawson

      For the love of god QT you are like a dog with rawhide leather. You won’t give up till there is nothing left.

      I think you just named two reasons PFLAG doesn’t do anything. 1) Someone that works at Target took the time and effort to help start PFLAG in the very area where the complain is being lodged and 2) Target has given much more money to the gay community (in this case PFLAG) than it has to a political pact.

      Seriously, you need to get over this. Its our inability to stop shooting our own allies in the face that is the key cause of most of our grief.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 5:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dawson
      Dawson

      @greybat: So now your argument comes down to them not being able to pick where their children went to college (come on, you can’t seriously think that parents have any control over what their children actually do once they turn 18 do you) and control over the actions of their bosses (yes, as a staffer I’m sure its your job to select the political agenda of the person you work for…if it was we wouldn’t need elected officials we would just need staffers).

      Ever hear the old saying, those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Its a saying that Miss Huffington and others really should take into account before someone starts vetting them.

      What is that….Miss Huffington sent an employee to Target in 1989 to buy a pencil. She must be a gay hating phony…OFF WITH HER HEAD.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eric
      Eric

      PFLAG isn’t an activist organization (although they do a bit of advocacy), it is a support organization which Target donates a lot of money to. Queerty, learn some responsible journalism.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 5:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Thomas Johnson: said..

      “@ Cam.

      Yawn. I’m bored.”
      ____________________________

      Typical HRC response, don’t deal with what was said, what the community feels etc… just stick to your mantra until you’re forced to change it.

      No wonder your donations are so down.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 6:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chad`
      Chad`

      HRC SUCKS. Useless. Name ONE piece of legislation they have passed? Nothing. But DAMN your money looks good on JOE S. He has some money ties. And what a pretty DC hq they have. HRC=FAIL. Period.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 6:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      The CEO’s son studies at the institute run by “Focus on the Family”. Please don’t tell me that his donations ending up in an anti-gay politicians fingers was in any way an accident.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 18 · Cam wrote, “The CEO’s son studies at the institute run by “Focus on the Family”. Please don’t tell me that his donations ending up in an anti-gay politicians fingers was in any way an accident.”

      This is a combination of argumentum ad hominem, post hoc ergo propter hoc, and a non sequitur.

      Reality: the “donation” was a mere $150,000 given to an entity called MN Forward that supports both Democrats and Republicans. If you read http://wehonews.com/z/wehonews/archive/page.php?articleID=5172 (a West Hollywood publication) the actual situation appears to be “Target Corporation’s CEO apologized Thursday for making a donation to a Political Action Committee that ended up supporting an anti-gay Republican gubernatorial candidate’s campaign.” The term “ended up” strongly suggests that support for Tom Emmer was not obvious when Target donated the money.

      For the amount of money involved (given Target’s size) Target’s CEO would have to be an extreme micromanager to have personally selected “MN Forward”: for a corporation of Target’s size, $150,000 is pocket change. The CEO apologized because it impacted a not-insignificant number of employees and customers.
      Such a situation most likely never came up previously, hence his statement about a “review process” to catch unexpected side effects of a donation.

      I didn’t find anything about the CEO’s son, but http://www.theawl.com/2010/08/real-america-the-ceo-of-target-and-the-anti-gay-christian-right claims, “Steinhafel’s daughter attended Wheaton College, a Christian school that signs all incoming students to a Biblical ‘Community Covenant’ which condemns homosexual behavior.” Also, according to the same article, “Steinhafel and his wife are also top-line donors to to the Minnesota organization ‘TreeHouse,’ which provides ‘faith-based hope and guidance to hurting teens, alumni, and parents during difficult times.’ Steinhafel also serves on its board.”

      This may sound bad, but CEO’s are often quite adept at ignoring religious convictions when at work. Read http://jblair.ba.ttu.edu/5374_fall_2007/personality/deutschman_psychopath.pdf to see why.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 10:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • read it again
      read it again

      @B: you should read that whole awl thing again and see the extremely antigay john thune and ranstad connection.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 11:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 20 · read it again wrote, “@B: you should read that whole awl thing again and see the extremely antigay john thune and ranstad connection.”

      As someone I knew once said, “never attribute to malice what could easily be explained by stupidity.”

      Aug 10, 2010 at 12:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      @B: Reality: the “donation” was a mere $150,000

      Reality: the “donation” was the money of the Target Corp., not the ancillary piggybank of a CEO who’d otherwise max’d out his conservative donations.

      Put another way: it’s not Gregg Steinhafel’s money to give.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 12:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Leslie MacKJenzie
      Leslie MacKJenzie

      @Dawson: No one at Target started the PFLAG chapter in the Twin Cities. Its been around for decades.
      PFLAG local chapters are often small and only as active as their members. They offer support to families, but they also do advocacy work. The board in the Twin Cities meets monthly and may simply not have had time to act on a timely issue. That doesn’t mean that PFLAG members are not actively involved in the boycott. PFLAG members are thousands of moms and dads, and brothers and sisters. The organization may not be speaking, but we sure are.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 1:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 22 · the crustybastard wrote, “@B: Reality: the ‘donation’ was a mere $150,000 Reality: the ‘donation’ was the money of the Target Corp., not the ancillary piggybank of a CEO who’d otherwise max’d out his conservative donations. Put another way: it’s not Gregg Steinhafel’s money to give.”

      I hate to introduce you to the real world, but large corporations do give donations to political campaigns. The typical reason is that they want legislation favorable to the corporation passed, so what is handed out and to whom is based on what the corporation needs, not the personal desires of the CEO to support some particular individual.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 1:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WalkderDC
      WalkderDC

      @the crustybastard:

      He made the decision on where it was sent. This is a man who’s son studied at the institute run by Focus on the Family. Do not try to tell me that this is accidental.

      The only time anybody claims that a CEO didn’t have the power to do something is when they’ve done something wrong and are trying to weasel out of it ala Goldman Sachs.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 7:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lookyloo
      lookyloo

      @Dawson: C’mon man. You know it’s deeper than you try to make it sound. Kids usually get their education from places their parents approve. You rarely hear of a kid going to an expensive, strict Christian school like Wheaton, let alone the Focus On The Family Institute, against their parents wishes.

      The Target CEO and, according to the article greybat linked, at least one other exec seems to have obvious conservative mindsets and no matter the gay friendly employee policies, the leanings of the corporate bosses will sway where the company donates it’s money. The pro-prop 8 donations show that.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 7:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WalkderDC
      WalkderDC

      @B:

      No. 18 · Cam wrote, “The CEO’s son studies at the institute run by “Focus on the Family”. Please don’t tell me that his donations ending up in an anti-gay politicians fingers was in any way an accident.”

      This is a combination of argumentum ad hominem, post hoc ergo propter hoc, and a non sequitur.”

      B, you can try to bounce around the issue all you want, however, you try to claim that the CEO donating to a fund that paid out money to anti-gay politicians, who tie into groups calling for the death of gays, and the fact that he sent his son to study at the institute run by one of the most anti-gay groups in the country are unrelated. (Oh, and learn the proper definition of words before you try to use them, somebody further up the chain brought this up, so it is far from a non-sequitur, but then you wouldn’t have been able to use all your words from your Freshmen critical thinking class)

      An person who sendds their family to study at an anti-gay institute run by and anti-gay group, has control over a large corporation and that corporation donates to a group that funnelled the money to an anti-gay polititian. The connection is obvious, and your extreme defense is odd.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 7:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jay
      Jay

      In my opinion, this article is complete rubbish, and when issues are taken to extremes, I feel it does more damage than good in moving our society forward. Now, throwing allies under the bus? This has gone way to far. I am completely disgusted— saddened with the words chosen for this article against the people that have done so much to move our community forward. :(

      Aug 10, 2010 at 9:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Washington
      Derek Washington

      @Cam: Lol, yeah, that was a typically elitist snear from the top of the elitist mountain that is The Firm.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 11:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      Capitalism works! Everything has a price now.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 1:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 27 · WalkderDC wrote, “B, you can try to bounce around the issue all you want, however, you try to claim that the CEO donating to a fund that paid out money to anti-gay politicians, …”

      Never said that – I said that Target (not the CEO) donated funds to MN Forward, which subsequently supported an anti-gay guy running for office. The CEO most likely had no role in choosing MN Forward – he has more important things to do, and quite likely nobody at Target even knew that some of the money they donated would go to an anti-gay candidate at the time the donation was made (note the word “subsequently”).

      Read http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_33/b4191032682244.htm which states, “When the Supreme Court ruled in January that companies and unions can use their money to help elect or defeat candidates for federal office, bans on corporate spending in 24 states, including Minnesota, were in conflict. Newly freed, Target made a $150,000 donation on July 6 to a nonprofit, MN Forward. Six other Minnesota businesses, including Best Buy (BBY), followed suit with $100,000 gifts. MN Forward then ran an ad for Tom Emmer, an outspoken opponent of gay marriage who faces an Aug. 10 primary. The ad didn’t mention Emmer’s position on the issue, focusing instead on his opposition to taxes and spending.”

      Then WalkerDC wrote, “An person who sendds their family to study at an anti-gay institute run by and anti-gay group, has control over a large corporation and that corporation donates to a group that funnelled the money to an anti-gay polititian. The connection is obvious, and your extreme defense is odd.”

      LOL – there was no “defense” let alone an “extreme defense”. I simply pointed out that the CEO probably did not make the decision to give a donation to MN Forward (at most he’d set the budget for subordinates who decided what to fund). In a company of Target’s size, the CEO simply does not have the time to micromanage every decision. I did point out that CEOs tend to separate their personal lives from their business decisions (and a surprising number of them are apparently sociopaths – see the URL I previously cited).

      Aug 10, 2010 at 2:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 25 · WalkderDC wrote, “@the crustybastard: He made the decision on where it was sent. This is a man who’s son studied at the institute run by Focus on the Family. Do not try to tell me that this is accidental.”

      … Do you have a URL to a credible source that definitively states that the CEO picked the place where his son studied? How do you know that it was his decision, versus his wife wanting the kid to go there? Maybe he just went along and didn’t want to argue about it. Or maybe he didn’t have any objections so he didn’t give it a second thought. There are a lot of possibilities.

      Next, “The only time anybody claims that a CEO didn’t have the power to do something is when they’ve done something wrong and are trying to weasel out of it ala Goldman Sachs.”

      …. this is confusing “power” with “time”. The CEO probably didn’t choose MN Forward not because he did not have the “power” to do that, but because the size of the donation was too inconsequential given Target’s financial position to warrant his personal intervention. Look up http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=TGT and you’ll see that Target’s Revenue is 66.12 billion dollars and its gross profit is 19.77 billion dollars, measured over the “trailing twelve months”. There are only so many hours in the day. With those numbers, why would you think he’d personally micromanage a $150,000 expenditure when there are so many more important things for him to do?

      Aug 10, 2010 at 4:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pat Duffy
      Pat Duffy

      PFLAG is a great place for parents to be around others who’re “dealing” with a family member who’s not Het but I learned in 1980 that this doesn’t necessarilly mean GLBT-Proud. I remember being asked at a meeting WHEN a “cure”(for Homosexuality) was found what I was going to say(bout my “behavior”). I said I wouldn’t take it since the only plus(other than society’s approval)for Hetrosexuality was kids and I’d rather keep being the “fun” Uncle…
      ‘Course, that WAS in Utah;>…

      Aug 11, 2010 at 7:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @B: said..

      “No. 25 · WalkderDC wrote, “@the crustybastard: He made the decision on where it was sent. This is a man who’s son studied at the institute run by Focus on the Family. Do not try to tell me that this is accidental.”

      … Do you have a URL to a credible source that definitively states that the CEO picked the place where his son studied?
      ________________________________

      Wow, so first you defend the CEO saying he had no part in the decision on where Target would send it’s political donations, and now…you are actually trying to say that he had no part in the fact that his son went to study at the institute run by one of the most anti-gay organizations in the country. So this CEO has no part in any decisions made at work or at home according to you.

      So basically according to your logic, nobody is responsible for anything they do ever. Are you responsible for the opinions you expressed in your post? AFter all, you didn’t supply a link proving to me that you are.

      Aug 11, 2010 at 11:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eriq1980
      Eriq1980

      Wow! The HRC and PFLAG are deciding NOT to boycott a company but rather act like adults and engage in meeting and dialogue with the company’s management team and you are treating them as though they are less than you.

      Really? What has happened to our community? Do something proactive outside of causing trouble for a company that has given us so much, and not to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars they have given to schools over the years.

      Stop whining and go shopping. Get out there and help fix the economy! Once that is fixed then politicians will not be distracted and we can get on with our personal political issues–none of which will be a focus for any politician until the economy is fixed.

      Have a great day! Looks like I WILL be shopping at Target everyday this week!

      Aug 15, 2010 at 11:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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