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And Your Boycott of Target Can Remain Forever: Don’t Expect Them to Donate Any Money to Pro-LGBT Candidates

Does it show the weakness of the Human Rights Campaign, or the institutional anti-gay sentiment in Target’s executive suite that the company has refused to “right the wrong” of donating $150,000 in cash and services to MN Forward to help elect bigoted Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer?

“All fair-minded Americans will now rightly question Target’s commitment to equality,” says HRC chief Joe Solmonese responding to Target’s decision not to donate any cash to a pro-LGBT candidate as a mediocre make-good. “If they’re initial contribution was a slap in the face, their refusal to make it right is a punch in the gut and that’s not something that we will soon forget. However, with full marriage equality hanging in the balance in Minnesota, regardless of Target, it’s important that we as a community send a message that we will work tirelessly to elect pro-equality candidates.”

This, from the organization that still lauds Target with a 100% Corporate Equality Index score.

I’m guessing we should expect more pro-gay demonstrations at your local Target location?

Okay, Best Buy. Your turn to play this game.

By:          Ryan Tedder
On:           Aug 16, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,
    • Jon B

      Has anyone looked into whether or not Target has any gay suppliers or partners? I know Isaac Mizrahi used to partner with them, and I thought Nate Berkus did as well… neither seems to be on their site currently though. But putting pressure on their suppliers and partners to switch over to competitors may be effective.

      Aug 16, 2010 at 7:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

      Because they tried to extort $$$ for themselves. Simple answer to the question.

      Hopefully some local folks can now go in and get something doe that doesn’t include a Saks shopping trip for Joe.

      Aug 16, 2010 at 7:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason in Austin

      I’m with Derek – this was nothing short of an extortion attempt by HRC. 7% of the ENTIRE HRC budget goes toward paying the salaries of Joe Solmonese and his top 13 cronies (who are all well into 6-figures, btw).

      Lest we forget that HRC helped fund John McCain’s campaign for president when they gave $10,000 to Republicans Who Care, who promptly turned around and contributed it directly McCain’s campaign. Last time I checked, McCain was anti-gay. By HRC’s using HRC’s logic on the Target debacle, that makes HRC anti-gay because they support anti-gay candidates.

      Joe Solmonese needs to go, and he needs to go now.

      Aug 16, 2010 at 7:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Carr

      Personally I am tired of all the HRC Sentiment I am reading. HRC is a PAC focused on LGBT Equality. Yes you have salaries to pay and if you want good people to run it then you pay the money for it. They have done tremendous good for the community. It serves no good purpose to foster dissension and adversity within our own community. We will get nowhere unless we stand strong together against these political candidates and their supporters.

      And just for the record both McCain and Obama agreed on their stands on gay rights issues… so that was a moot point in the last Presidential Election. We’ve seen little to no movement from the Oval Office to foster equality at the Federal level.

      Aug 16, 2010 at 7:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael Joseph Cuneo

      “Does it show the weakness of the Human Rights Campaign, or the institutional anti-gay sentiment in Target’s executive suite”

      c) Both a and b

      Aug 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheMixTacoma

      Nate Berkus was with Linens N Things.. Not sure he moved over to Target. Keep the work up people!

      Aug 16, 2010 at 8:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lanjier

      HRC is the FAIL of gay rights organizations. The members are too old, too resume conscious, resume selected, too interested in advancing their careers with the Democratic Party, and too alcoholic.

      Aug 16, 2010 at 8:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Queer Supremacist

      @DEREK WASHINGTON: Nail. Hit. On. Head.

      HRC’s goal is to profit off our oppression. When we take our rights, they won’t need to exist.

      Aug 16, 2010 at 8:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Miller

      It was transparent that this entire thing wasn’t over “outrage” for Target supporting a pro-business group who endorsed an anti-gay state candidate for a minor office. It was a shakedown by the Democratic Party and HRC of one of the largest pro-gay corporations in the United States.

      I do think it’s funny that HRC — who have endorsed DOZENS of anti-gay-marriage candidates from pro-DOMA-voting Joe Biden to anti-gay-marriage “friend of Rick Warren” Barack Obama, to over 40 other anti-gay-marriage candidates in the Democratic Party — thought it had the “moral authority” to intervene.

      HRC must think that everyone is as stupid as their supporters.

      Aug 16, 2010 at 8:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz

      @Lanjier: I hate HRC, but your ageism and arm-chair diagnostic skills are divisive and probably inaccurate.

      Aug 16, 2010 at 8:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Miller

      If anybody has ANY doubt what a bunch of whores HRC are, here’s their breathless endorsement of Joe Biden:


      “During his career in Congress, Senator Biden has a proven record of fighting for and supporting issues of fairness and equality.”

      Joe Biden voted for the anti-gay DOMA law and the anti-gay military ban. Joe Biden voted for the two worst anti-gay laws in federal history. Joe Biden’s votes are far nastier than anything some Minnesota state politico could do.

      And HRC had the gall to try and shake down Target while lauding this bigoted Senator with the worst possible voting record on marriage equality as “a proven” fighter for “fairness and equality.”

      Aug 16, 2010 at 8:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent

      target has plenty of gay in-house designers. currently, thomas o’brien, napoleon perdis & stephen burrows. Also just about every “go international” limited edition designer is gay. proenza boys, alexander mcqueen, zac posen, etc. also the designers who are currently selling in target and who claim to support the lgbt community should be called and emailed and asked about their commitment. here is a list: rachel ashwell/shabby chic,
      isabelle toledo,
      sean conway,
      jean paul gaultier,
      giada de laurentiis,
      jemma kidd makeup,
      michael graves,
      eugenia kim,
      liz lange,
      christiane lemieux – dwell studio,
      jaye hersh,
      sonia kashuk makeup,
      cynthia vincent
      and soon to be gwen stephani… all of these designers have websites. write them or call their offices and demand to know how they feel about targets antigay actions.

      Aug 16, 2010 at 8:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Greg from Denver

      Great Video, I shared it on Facebook and hope it gets lots of hits.

      Aug 16, 2010 at 8:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason in Austin

      Having staff to pay is one thing, but when the average senior staff salary is over $165,000 and there are 150 (one-five-zero) PAID STAFF collecting a salary, and you have a shiny new building to maintain, what you end up with is an organization that spends more than 40% (yes, forty) of every dollar they raise on salaries and administrative costs.

      Sure, they hide the costs in the annual report, but if you look at the IRS 990 it gets much clearer.

      The salary and admin costs alone are enough for it to be a massive FAIL in the non-profit world. If any of the organizations I’m a part of had those kind of numbers, the entire senior staff would find themselves out their asses. HRC is horribly, HORRIBLY mismanaged.

      Aug 16, 2010 at 8:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony George

      First, Target must get rid of extreme right-wing anti-gay anti-choice CEO Greg Steinhafel. At least now we know that Target is an ultra-conservative company that will use the money shoppers spend there to back vicious Tea Party Sarah Palin / Glenn Beck causes. So best not to waste your money at Target defeating yourselves.

      Aug 16, 2010 at 9:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gaylib

      because they are NOT lobbyists (which is what they pretend to be). If they were, the negotiations would have been a snap. No, HRC is a propaganda outlet meant to keep the gays in line for the DNC/OFA. As advocates for our community they are (and have been for some time) absolutely useless.

      Aug 16, 2010 at 9:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scotty B

      If any new yorkers are reading this, join the protest at the standard hotel Wednesday night 8-11. Target is launching 3 new designers (gay designers) and it will be VERY high profile. This is an important (and highly covered by the media) event. Let’s show them who we are. Loud and proud.

      Aug 16, 2010 at 9:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Doug

      It’s a little off-topic, I know, but I wish Queerty would pay more attention to their spelling: when they let things slip like “you’re” instead of “your,” or “they’re” instead of “their,” they end up looking like functional illiterates, which reduces their credibility.

      That aside, I’m a member of the gay community, too, and this video clip is just over-the-top to the point that I LOVE it. Right on, guys!

      Aug 16, 2010 at 10:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael

      Interesting boycot-umentary. I couldn’t help but notice, at the end of the film, the only people leaving the store, were the performers. Were they paid by the film’s producer, Move-On?

      Aug 17, 2010 at 12:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • number

      If corporations are now recognized as “people” and can make unlimited contributions we must call them out by not giving them our money.

      Aug 17, 2010 at 3:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Milkman

      Folks I’ve got my problems with HRC, but they weren’t extorting money. They were pressuring Target to donate to LOCAL gay organizations like OutFront Minnesota and local political organizations. And now that Target has refused, HRC is making the donation themselves.

      Seriously, this HRC hatred may have a grain of truth to it, but right now it’s clouding your judgement.

      Aug 17, 2010 at 8:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WalkderDC

      @Derek Carr: said.

      Personally I am tired of all the HRC Sentiment I am reading. HRC is a PAC focused on LGBT Equality. Yes you have salaries to pay and if you want good people to run it then you pay the money for it. They have done tremendous good for the community.

      And just for the record both McCain and Obama agreed on their stands on gay rights issues… so that was a moot point in the last Presidential Election.

      OK Derek, lets answer both of your points.

      1. Just what good have they done for the community? They have opposed every court case that has ended up getting gay marriage in the states. Later on they lauded the decisions, but they were opposed to the case that got us our first state with gay marriage (MA) origionally, and if you can remember just recently they were opposed to the court case in CA. that just struck down Prop 8. (They were happy to come out and try to take credit when both these decisions came down.

      2. As for your contention that McCain and Obama are the same. Well lets see, McCain is opposed to gays adopting, Obama isn’t, McCain is thretening to fillibuster the DADT repeal, Obama, although not enthusiasticly signed it. So you are trying to say that somebody who actively opposed ALL gay rights is the same as somebody who offers luke warm support for gay rights.

      3. And to your very first comment that you have to pay if you want good people to run HRC. Well, here is a question for you. On what are you basing your contention that Joe Solomnase is good? For the salaries paid to the people at the top of HRC, we could have paid an insider lobbyist group in DC, and gotten 10 times the access HRC can get.

      Aug 17, 2010 at 9:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Milkman

      And I’d be willing to bet that there are a few Target-employed homos out in cyberville shilling for the company as we speak.

      Aug 17, 2010 at 9:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • horus


      Aug 17, 2010 at 10:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent

      more info on the Standard Hotel / Target protest event.
      Tomorrow 8.18.10 · 7:00pm – 11:00pm
      The Standard Hotel 848 Washington Street
      New York, NY

      Boycott Target Until They Cease Funding Anti-Gay Politics.

      Target is planning a special event at The Standard Hotel in NYC. Start getting your protest materials together and as soon as this hits everyone can flash mob protest! They will be broadcasting live feed of the event back to their FB page. 

      Meeting at Barracuda at 7 to setup and head down to the hotel at 8.

      not in nyc? you can also Tweet Protest using the #TGTSpectacular hashtag!



      Aug 17, 2010 at 11:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue

      HRC, like EQCA and similar groups, is a front group for the Democrats; HRCs partisan loyalty to their Democrat masters far outweighs their loyalty to GLBT equality.

      Anyone who gives money to HRC or the Democrats is wasting their money. Anyone who gives money to the DNC is giving money to an organization run by rightwing christers who use it to promote anti-LGBT and anti-choice agendas.

      Aug 17, 2010 at 12:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue

      LCR = Stonewall Democrats = HRC = GOProud = partisans who put their party loyalty ahead of their presumed loyalty to GLBT folks.

      Aug 17, 2010 at 12:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Milkman

      Maybe so, Bill, but I didn’t see any other GLBT organizations contacting Target and holding meetings. I also don’t see any other GLBT organizations, local or national, who plan to use their own funds to offset the donation from Target.

      I agree HRC is too beholden to certain members of the Democratic party who are sloppin’ sugar to our faces then turn around and vote against our civil rights. But that could be said of pretty much any advocacy organization, gay or straight.

      Given your feelings about HRC, and I’m really asking here, where would you recommend we GLBT folk direct our donations if not to HRC?

      Aug 17, 2010 at 12:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RLSinSF

      Quit HRC years ago when they sent a paid “event organizer” to SF for the Castro Street Fair and he spent the whole weekend drunk and bragging about how his job was just to go to big city street parties and get drunk. Complaint to HRC HQ went nowhere. Stop supporting this lazy-ass organization. Its leadership is self-serving and ineffectual.

      Aug 17, 2010 at 12:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue

      @The Milkman: Offhand I can think of hundreds of activist groups from GLSEN to the National Center for Lesbian Rights or Lambda Legal to HIV/AIDS groups.

      Take you pick, but don’t give it to our political enemies like HRC, Log Cabin or the Democrats.

      Aug 17, 2010 at 12:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • edgyguy1426

      I think the video is a little bit if a fail. Obviously the people laughing and clapping along hadn’t a clue what was going on. Maybe they thought Target was paying for a little free in-house entertainment. Unless these demonstrators passed out flyers ar something, their message was totally lost on the shoppers.

      Aug 17, 2010 at 3:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Curtis

      @edgyguy1426: I agree that the impact on shoppers that day was not great, but the real value of htis funny and clever demonstration is that it can be reported on on blogs, Twitter, Facebook etc.. and have impact beyond the few dozen folks who cluelessly watched the live performance without any context or lyric subtitles.

      I think it’s sad that people are using the minor HRC reference in the article as an excuse to rail on endlessly with misguided attacks on HRC and miss the actual point of the article. Target has fucked us.

      Aug 17, 2010 at 11:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason in Austin

      If you want a wonderful GLBT organization to give your money to, I strongly suggest the Victory Fund. Its sole purpose is to elect openly GLBT candidates to office.

      Unlike HRC, the Victory Fund actually works hard and gets things done for us. Unlike HRC, the Victory Fund only has 19 paid staff. It is a very lean, efficient, and effective organization that doesn’t spend most of its time begging for money. It spends most of its time getting GLBT people elected.

      I canceled my Federal Club membership to HRC and now give that money to the Victory Fund because I see results with them and know I’m getting a solid return on my investment.

      Aug 18, 2010 at 12:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Miller

      They were pressuring Target to donate to LOCAL gay organizations

      Uhhh… Target does already donate to local gay organizations. The local pride event, the local LGBT community center, and the local gay health center in Minneapolis wouldn’t exist if not for millions of Target dollars contributed every year.

      HRC was coming up from Washington DC for a rare visit to “flyover country” (defined as everything outside of Washington DC, New York, San Francisco, and LA) to shake down Minnesota businesses for money. Target told them to eff off (and good for them), we’ll see what Best Buy says.

      Aug 18, 2010 at 12:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Milkman

      Brian you don’t seem to get the fact that Target’s contributions to a festival, a community center, and a health clinic are meaningless if they continue to support a political candidacy that is vehemently anti-gay. If our civil rights are nullified by Target’s chosen candidates, then really does any of the rest matter?

      Would your opinion be different had it been an organization other than HRC involved in the negotiations?

      Maybe the surviving partners of deceased gay men in Minneapolis who lose their homes because we’re not deserving of marriage-related survivor benefits can move their belongings into the Target LGBT Community Center (TM).

      Aug 18, 2010 at 1:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Miller

      you don’t seem to get the fact that Target’s contributions to a festival, a community center, and a health clinic are meaningless if they continue to support a political candidacy that is vehemently anti-gay

      I’m not an absolutist (funny, that’s usually HRC’s line).

      And no, I don’t take Obama-supporting Democrats seriously when they start screeching about state-level candidates who “want to take away our rights.”

      Maybe the surviving partners of deceased gay men in Minneapolis who lose their homes because we’re not deserving of marriage-related survivor benefits can move their belongings into the Target LGBT Community Center (TM).

      Last time I checked, President Obama was A-OK with your losing your house too. Most of the Democratic Senate caucus voted to make the ban permanent at a federal level even if, due to some miracle, the legislature and governor said you’re equal. Paul Wellstone, the late “liberal” Senator, also voted to enshrine that bigotry into law — permanently.

      Did you boycott his donors?

      Did you scream and yell in front of his campaign headquarters?

      I bet not.

      In fact, I’ll bet a C-note that you voted for him and continued to support anti-marriage and pro-DOMA Democrats with votes, money and volunteer time.

      So with your own actions, you said “marriage rights aren’t important,” and then got all pissy when big Minnesota businesses listened to your actions.

      Aug 20, 2010 at 12:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KathleenMLakeMA

      This week my family and friends went through our homes writing down every product, piece of equipment and service we use. We now have a list of all their parent companies/corporations, boards (and what companies they are affiliated with) and top corporate execs. My family will not fund hate and we will not purchase ANY product from any corporation that does. America is for ALL Americans, not just those with whom we share a common religion, race, way of life or political view.

      I hope other families who believe in the Bill of Rights and equal protection under the law for ALL Americans will join in this effort to dispel the specter of an America run by corporations instead of us. We vote twice, once at the polls and again with our wallets. Further, corporations that fund politicians who wish to marginalize ANY group of American citizens and deny them their right to equal protection under the law for themselves and their families, should be put on notice that we will not tolerate the backroom deals you make with hate.

      PACs can’t hide you so don’t be fooled in to thinking we won’t find out. My family of devout Christians, veterans and patriots are united on this regardless of our political leanings. Don’t try to buy my country and keep your mits off the lives of my fellow Americans. Kathleen M. Lake, MA

      Aug 22, 2010 at 7:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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