Minnesota for Marriage, a group that supports a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, is trying to raise money off Target's recent announcement that it will raise money for a group that opposes the amendment.
Minnesota for Marriage wants its supporters to give up to $100 to offset the up to $120,000 Target has pledged to raise for the Family Equality Council. To raise the cash, Target will be selling gay pride t-shirts throughout June.
Two years ago, Target was the subject of consumer backlash after giving to an organization that supported Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, who opposed same-sex marriage.
This year's t-shirt sale is an attempt to make amends with the gay community, wrote Minnesota for Marriage Campaign Manager Andy Parrish in the fundraising email. He said the company should be prepared for more alienated customers.
"Clearly this is to make nice with the homosexual marriage community for their donation to support Tom Emmer two years ago," Parrish wrote. "It's wrong for a mega-corporation to take sides in an important social issue that has nothing to do with its business objectives. In doing so, Target has alienated the strong majority of Minnesotans who support traditional marriage. They also risk alienating the overwhelming majority of their customers in the 32 states in this country that have voted to support traditional marriage."
Additionally, it really does have to do with their business objectives. Target thrives because of the caliber of talented employees they are able to recruit and maintain (this includes A LOT of GLBT employees). Passage of this amendment, and even the fact that it's on the ballot, sends a message that Minnesota is not an accepting and inclusive state. It will make it a lot harder for Target, and all of the other businesses in Minnesota, to attract and retain the best talent. When companies lose innovative employees, they lose their edge and start to die; when companies start to die, Minnesota's economy suffers. This amendment is bad for business.
Don't confuse whether same-sex friendships should be given a marriage license with whether they can work at Target. It is an vicious error to declare the Minnesota Marriage Amendment will destroy its economy, because the States with the best economies in general also have marriage amendments or laws defining marriage as between opposite-sex. That opponents of the Marriage Amendment speak without having to prove their assertions should tell Minnesotans they are out to lie to get what they want. Marriage and Civil Unions have a purpose and that purpose has nothing to do with same-sex LGBT friendships. It excludes all same-sex friendships, not only LBGT. You have to think logically and forget your sentimentality, because they WILL take you for a ride, until they don't need you anymore.