Leftist AGs Pressure Target To Continue LGBT Support

Over a dozen left-leaning state attorneys general are calling on retail giant Target to bolster its support for the LGBT movement. A letter sent to Target’s CEO and chairman, Brian Cornell, warned the retailer against any perceived retreat in promoting pro-LGBT merchandise.

Target has recently faced severe criticism from ordinary Americans for marketing pro-LGBT items, including merchandise intended for children. Notably, some products belonged to a brand that also sold items bearing the slogan “Satan respects pronouns,” stirring significant controversy. Following the outcry, Target declared it would withdraw some contentious items but underscored its unwavering support for the “LGBTQIA+ community.”

The attorneys general, representing the group of blue states, including Massachusetts, Minnesota and California, made sure Cornell knew the position of law enforcement officials. They argued that any reduction in the promotion of Pride merchandise might set a precedent that “intentional violence and intimidation can set back the march for social progress and LGBTQIA+ equality,” which they believe is already “under threat nationwide.”

These top legal officials suggested that such a move could potentially embolden those who resort to bullying and hateful tactics, discouraging the expression of support for the LGBT movement. The implication is that yielding to public pressure could be seen as an endorsement of these tactics, a point that Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison explicitly raised in his letter to Target.

As with most public-facing businesses in today’s political climate, Target is pressured to balance customer preferences with its social responsibilities. This balance has brought Target under scrutiny, as seen with their decision to pull certain “Pride Month” displays, which some critics argued were inappropriate, notably including swimsuits designed for transgender individuals.

Target also withdrew items from the controversial designer Erik Carnell’s brand, Abprallen, which featured provocative messages. While these items were not part of Target’s Pride collection, Carnell’s brand has been associated with controversial satanic symbols and themes.
The letter from the attorneys general claimed that opposition to such merchandise does not echo the “sentiments of American society at large.” By saying so, they seemed to sideline critics of the LGBT movement, reducing their objections to the clamor of a “fringe” group rather than a considerable portion of the public.

The letter also warned Target that it had certain “obligations” under existing civil rights law to guard against discrimination. While corporations must adhere to anti-discrimination laws, it seems an overstep for these legal officials to imply that this requires a specific promotion of LGBT merchandise. This is especially problematic when such a promotion sparks significant public disagreement.

Yielding to pressures from a radical political ideology alienates customers who do not share those views. Like other national brands like Bud Light, it is time for Target to decide whether they will appeal to their customers’ needs or the mission of far-left politicians.