CV NEWS FEED // Fifteen Democratic state attorneys general sent a letter to Target CEO Brian Cornell on June 16 acknowledging the backlash Target has received from the ongoing pride controversy and calling for the retail giant to defend its LGBTQ+ merchandise in the name of inclusivity.
The coalition of attorneys general was co-led by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell. The three-page letter detailed the coalition’s frustration over Target’s decision to remove pride displays. The letter also contained numerous exhortations for Target to ignore opposition to its controversial LGBTQ-themed products targeting children.
“While we understand the basis for this action [removing pride displays], we are also concerned it sends a message that those who engage in hateful and disruptive conduct can cause even large corporations to succumb to their bullying, and that they have the power to determine when LGBTQIA+ consumers will feel comfortable in Target stores – or anywhere in society,” the coalition wrote.
The letter comes after Target faced major public backlash in late May because of its pride collection, some of which was designed by a “transgender” Satanist. The pride collection led to widespread boycotts and alleged verbal attacks on Target employees, as well as the destruction of a few pride displays. Target has not released anything confirming attacks or threats to its employees.
The attorneys general said that they believed Target has been subjected to criminal acts and encouraged Cornell to report any in-store backlash to authorities. The coalition also said their states “have many resources to support Target’s efforts to protect its staff and customers in the face of hate-based intimidation, harassment, threats, or attacks.”
Citing sexual discrimination, the attorneys general argued that their state laws do not permit actions such as those committed by the people who objected to Target pushing a progressive sexual agenda.
“This Pride Month, the LGBTQIA+ community needs and deserves our support and protection more than ever,” the attorneys general concluded:
We urge Target to double down on inclusivity, reject hate in all its forms, and stand firm in the face of intimidation and discrimination. We hope that we can work together with Target to create a welcoming space where members of this community, including Target staff and customers, can express themselves in the joyful spirit of Pride.