Target appears to be extending an olive branch to the gay community with a new line of products set to launch later this month.
Pride month merchandise including beach towels, water bottles and a Harajuku Mini T-shirt, designed by singer Gwen Stefani, featuring the phrase “Love is Love” will be available on target.com beginning May 20. Target says 100 percent of the purchase price will be donated to a national LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) organization.
It's a bold move for a retailer still carefully trying to repair relations with the gay community without alienating consumers on the other end of the political spectrum.
In 2010, Minneapolis-based Target angered gay rights supporters with a controversial political donation to MN Forward, a political group that produced ads for former Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, who opposes gay marriage. Last spring, the retailer sued a gay marriage group that had been picketing outside a California store. The moves caused gay rights supporters to boycott Target.
In contrast, Target has continued to be a major sponsor for the Twin Cities Pride festivities in Minneapolis and scores high on the Human Rights Campaign's corporate equality index, which rates businesses on workplace policies for gay employees.
In a written statement to The Oklahoman, Target said the new line was created after receiving requests from employees and shoppers in the last year for an assortment of pride merchandise.
“Target supports inclusivity and diversity in every aspect of our business and has a long history of supporting the LGBT community through giving, volunteerism and event sponsorship and participation,” Target said.
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