Target says 'Love is Love,' supports same-sex marriage through new merchandise

Target appears to be extending an olive branch to the gay community with a new line of products set to launch later this month.
by Jennifer Palmer Published: May 3, 2012
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affect Target's image?

Retail analyst Britt Beemer said Target's strategy isn't very smart, especially in a conservative, Republican state such as Oklahoma.

“Anytime a retailer gets away from doing what they should be doing by being involved in a social cause, you always lose in that environment,” he said. “It could be a big mistake, especially in southern markets.”

But Josh Sauer and Matt Harney, members of OKC Pride's board of directors, say Target's move is a step in the right direction, though they haven't yet seen the merchandise.

‘Love is love' is not a controversial message at all,” Sauer said. “It's just equality.”

Harney added that the phrase is a clear indication of how the retailer stands and is the same message OKC Pride uses.

Many consumers use the Human Rights Campaign's corporate equality index to decide where to spend dollars, Sauer and Harney said. Target is one of the highest rated retailers with a score of 85 out of 100. Harney said the buying power of gays and lesbians is typically higher than average consumers because they are less likely to have children, so they have more expendable income, and retailers are recognizing that.

“We've come a long way. Opinions are changing and if companies aren't on board, they're going to be left behind,” Sauer said.

by Jennifer Palmer
Investigative Reporter
Jennifer Palmer joined The Oklahoman staff in 2008 and, after five years on the business desk, is now digging deeper through investigative work. She's been recognized with awards in public service reporting and personal column writing. Prior to...
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