Court Forces Target To Let Gay Marriage Lovers Hang Out In Front Of Its Stores

Target, which shamelessly supports political candidates that don’t believe in civil rights, is gonna have to let those mean old queers solicit signatures in front of its stores! A Superior Court judge in San Diego ruled against the retailer in its lawsuit that tried to boot Canvass For A Cause, the pro-gay marriage group, from hanging out around its shops and tricking customers into thinking Target supports your right to marry. But that doesn’t mean Canvass can go canvassing willy nilly.

The group can only canvas one store entrance at any given time so customers’ access to the store isn’t impeded, the judge ruled. Also, group members are not allowed to “harass, follow, stalk, or block movements of Target’s employees, management or customers.”

It would seem existing law already prohibits the last part of the court’s decision. The first part, about only allowing to stand in front of one store entrance? Sure sounds like a court dictating how people can exercise their First Amendment rights to me.

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  • Scott

    Seems absolutely reasonable to limit it. They would be on private property and it would not be appropriate to allow them to obstruct customers coming into store. Free speech does not have a physical dimension–it is the exercise of speech not the location that is guaranteed.

  • Eric

    The court must have been smoking the same crack they were smoking when they decided Citizens United v US.

  • Riker

    I agree, limiting them to one store entrance makes sense. Just because you’re allowed to petition there doesn’t mean you can blockade the store or harass the customers.

  • PersonOfInterest

    Regardless of the issue being pushed or the charity seeking my money, I simply want to put a bullet in the head of ANYONE who accosts me in public and asks/demands something of me. I do my charitable donations and my politicking in real-life forums where they mean something, not in a place where the only intent is to gain attention.

    You Target bashers just have waaaay too much time on your hands. Find a cause that’s worth something.

  • Shannon1981

    Sounds like the judge is forbidding Target to spread their homophobia further. While I do not like people with a cause harassing me – everything from the Salvation Army Santa Claus at Christmas time outside the local K Mart to telemarketers calling my house at ungodly hours- I do recognize that they have a right to do what they are doing, no matter the location, and I think it is the business aspect and the potentially controversial cause that made Target sue this group, and I applaud the judge. Limiting it to one entrance is a reasonable compromise.

  • Rusty

    This Target bashing thing is getting a little ridiculous, and it makes me sad you guys are continuing to attack a mass retailer that has gone to great lengths to protect LGBT rights in the workplace and give partner benefits, even in all the states where they don’t have to. You guys make it sound like Target was giving money to a politician BECAUSE of his position on gay rights, and you’re eventually going to have to realise your little crusade is not working because gay people who work at Target and shop at Target know it’s not the evil company you’re making it out to be. Do they have some problems? Sure. But they’re small in comparison to other big companies out there. Wouldn’t your energies be better focussed on one of them instead of trying to bring down one of the LGBT communities greatest allies?

  • Ricky

    I live in Los Angeles and Canvas for a Cause can be found outside of Starbuck’s or Pavilions on a nice day – they never approach you as you are going in – they only ask if you have a minute as you are leaving – and they never pursue the issue if you say no or simply say nothing – ever.

    Target lies – they lie about their so-called support of gays and lesbians — in the support of equality and diversity – they lie about their political donations – they lie when they said they banned the Salvation Army from doing the same thing as Canvas – but then neglect to mention they bought them off with more than a million dollars a year donation ever since – something no gay or lesbian organization or charity will ever see – Target lies – they are run by those who imagine themselves Christian – so they are run by the absolute worst liars.

    Target has never, repeat never, and once more for the truly stupid here – never been a friend to the gay community – taking our money and then working against our equality behind our back is not being our friend – which is what their top executives – many former Republican hacks – have been doing for YEARS.

    Target lies.

  • ML

    @Rusty: Not working, huh? Target sales continue to fall as other retailers show improvement:

    Target leadership has pissed off a once loyal customer segment and continues to show how clueless they are. On the heels of the PR disaster of the MN governor race, they choose to pursue this case in San Diego? Stockholders should be demanding their heads. How can they justify their position? Salvation Army is OK but canvassers aren’t? Or, is it just canvassers who support gay marriage who aren’t welcome?

    With “friends” like Target who needs enemies?

  • Steve

    This really isn’t a victory. If pro-gay groups have the right to rally in front of Target, then so do anti-gay groups.

    Just saying. Freedom works both ways. We all seem to froget that.

  • Ricky

    @Steve: No, this is a victory – Target’s court claim was based on a lie – saying that customers were being harassed – asking someone a question as they leave the store is not harassment – that is why they failed in court – since they lied – yet again.

    If anti-gay groups wish to solicit support outside Target – they will be held to the exact same standards that the court held Canvas for a Cause to – meaning they must be respectful at all times – if they act otherwise – those groups will be barred.

    I for one do not worry about running into an anti-gay group when I am out running errands – it will never happen at a Target since I never shop there – but if it happens anywhere else – I – and many other gays – are more than up to the challenge.

  • ML

    @Steve: Of course it’s a victory for free speech.

    Target is the one that seems to have forgotten that freedom of speech applies to ALL. They want to be able to choose who can stand at their door. The presence of a conservative (and anti-gay) organization like Salvation Army is apparently acceptable to them — a group advocating gay marriage is not.

  • J.D

    @Rusty: I agree with you 100%. Companies like Wal-Mart are WAY more anti-gay than Target. Target has never gone out of their way to discriminate against the gays. The donation given wasn’t to a direct attack against the gays.

    I never bothered with the whole Target thing. People took that situation WAY too far.

  • Ricky

    @J.D: Exactly what has Wal-Mart done that was specifically directed at gays and lesbians? One thing Wal-Mart has not done is try to claim they are supportive of gays and lesbians and then for years – their executives – and their families – gave the largest legally allowed contributions to some of the most rabidly anti-gay politicians – those who oppose any kind of equality for gays and lesbians – and then, when given the first opportunity – used Target corporate funds to give to a rabidly anti-gay politician.

    Did Wal-Mart get caught lying to gays and lesbians – give a half-hearted apology – and then give another $30K more in the same election cycle?

    Has Wal-Mart taken a gay group to court to keep them off their property – all the while claiming support for gays and lesbians?

    Has Wal-Mart made sure that the highly-branded crap was at gay events – as though they support gays and lesbians – when in-fact – gays and lesbians received an almost non-existent fraction of the money they give – including the more than a million dollars a year to the Salvation Army.

    Wal-Mart has never pretended to be our friend – while working behind our backs to undermine any equality for us.

  • SteveC

    I’m boycotting Target.

    They’re not the only corporation which financially supports the removal of my civil and human rights, but they are the ones which have been caught out, claiming to support diversity while giving money to extremist bigots like Tom Emmer.

    The LGBT boycott of Target is partly resposnible for their 4.5% drop in sales in March.

    We need to keep holding their feet to the fire.

    Unless Target takes steps to ensure they never again donate to extremist bigots, then they simply cannot be trusted – despite whatever meaningless PR bullshit they engage in.

    Target is clearly run by imbeciles for their wilful decision to continue engaging in these fights with the LGBT population.

    It’s a lose-lose situation for them.

  • Jimmy Fury

    @ML: Bullshit. Freedom of speech doesn’t apply to all. Nor does it apply to private property OR a private company setting rules.

    Freedom of speech only applies to the government attempting to limit speech in public forums. This isn’t a victory for free speech it’s a defeat for private property rights and one we better hope gets overturned ASAP.

    You can bet your ass that if the judgment stands the WBC will use it as precedent to set up shop anywhere they please.

  • SteveC

    Private property. Target wanted to remove campaigners from outside their stores. In many cases this is public property. It is a victory for free speech.

    And even if it was private property, the gay group is the ONLY group Target was suing.

    Target is run by homophobic scum.

    They may dress themselves up as inclusive. But they continue to fund the removal of our human and civil rights.

  • Jimmy Fury

    @SteveC: It depends on the store. On free standing stores Target’s property includes the parking lot. They most certainly control the walkway outside the door. Or at least they should. But I suppose it’s ok for the government to take control of a company as long as it’s a company you don’t like.

    Remember that if the come after a company you DO like.

  • Ricky

    @Jimmy Fury: Oh good God – read the Damn ruling – this is a very limited ruling based on the concept of these places being public squares – which seems appropriate since big box stores like Target are why public squares no long exist.

    This ruling limits what Canvas for a Cause can do and where they can do it – it is not a blanket ruling that will allow the WBC – comparing the 2 is ridiculous – but more importantly, before you cower away at the in-bred hillbillies of WBC – they do not have the same standing on this issue as common cause.

    Target would likely not have prevailed — but by lying about the group — and claiming they were harassing customers – surely did not help their case.

    Target lies.

  • Daphney

    Ok! folks now you see where this is headed.
    No freedon of speech for heterosexuals,religion/christian or anyone who is againt the gay lifestyle.
    See this is what happens when your are not tending to Gods business you give the devils a foothold.

    All of you people who wanted to see the rights for gats/homosexuals instead of human rights this is what you will have to deal with in the future so will you kids, grandchildren and the chruch if it is one left.

    Maybe the chruch needs to take a stand and be aggressive and persitence in your beleive just like they are (homosexuals) and then may be just maybe you will have the power they have now. To SILENTS YOU!!!!

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