Two years after Target Corp. angered gay marriage supporters with a political donation that benefited a gay-marriage opponent seeking the governor’s office, the retailer is now upsetting same-sex marriage opponents by selling T-shirts to raise money for a group working to defeat a gay marriage ban in Minnesota.
The Minneapolis-based retailer is taking heat in its home state, where voters will decide this November whether to put a gay marriage ban into the state constitution. One organizer of gay marriage opponents warned that their displeasure could spread to 32 other states where voters have banned gay marriage.
“Target is attacking traditional marriage, which is an incredibly misguided thing for them to have done,” said Chuck Darrell, spokesman for Minnesota for Marriage, a group campaigning to pass the constitutional marriage amendment. “It’s an insult to the overwhelming majority of their customers.”
Target’s move comes two years after it endured a backlash from gay rights supporters for giving $150,000 to a campaign group backing the conservative Republican candidate for Minnesota governor, Tom Emmer, who narrowly lost to Democrat Mark Dayton in a race that went to an automatic recount. The donation set off protests and calls for a boycott from a constituency that had seen Target as an ally.
Supporters of gay marriage see Minnesota as having the potential to halt their long losing streak in statewide votes.
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