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Last night, Target apologized for donating money to Republican Tom Emmer, a conservative candidate for Minnesota governor who loudly opposes gay rights. The Target controversy has been brewing for a while now—see the Awl for in-depth coverage—but it sounds like the Minnesota-based company is finally acknowledging that it's time for some damage control. The question is, will they actually change?
In the statement, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel writes:
The intent of our political contribution to MN Forward was to support economic growth and job creation. While I firmly believe that a business climate conducive to growth is critical to our future, I realize our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry.He goes on to say that Target respects diversity, that it will review its "decision-making process for financial contributions in the public policy arena," and that later this fall it will convene talks with other organizations about GLBT rights alongside other issues.
Which is nice and all, but as the Awl has exhaustively shown, Target has a long history of supporting anti-gay candidates. (HuffPo also found that Target donated money to Prop 8, though it's possible that the funds came from individual employees and not the company itself.) MoveOn is still calling for a boycott, as are numerous Facebook pages. And if the issue doesn't disappear within the next few weeks, you can bet the Standard Hotel light show display will attract more than a few protesters.
· Target CEO Apologizes for Hurting People's Feelings [Gawker]
· Real America: Target Doesn't Support Gay Equality Because It Never Did [The Awl]
· Target's Promised 'Review Process' For Political Donations Has A Lot Of Anti-Gay Ground To Cover [HuffPo]