Target Says “Sorry” for Donation to Anti-Gay Republican


Finally responding with more than a “we support the gay community” (with our other hand in the pocket of someone who actively does not support the gay community), Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel sent a memo to employees today to apologize for donating $150,000 to Republican Tom Emmer (who is anti-gay marriage, pro-Arizona immigration law, and a good pal of the Tea Party) by way of MN Forward. Here’s what Steinhafel said, via MPR News:

Once you get past the PR-speak, the salient message is this:

Going forward, we will soon begin a strategic review and analysis of our decision-making process for financial contributions in the public policy arena. And later this fall, Target will take a leadership role in bringing together a group of companies and partner organizations for a dialogue focused on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including GLBT issues.

Oh, wait, is that still the PR-speak?

In a statement, via the Windy City Times, Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said,

“We appreciate Mr. Steinhafel’s statement to company employees this afternoon but it doesn’t go quite far enough. Target’s apology is welcomed but without tangible action behind it, the LGBT community and our allies will continue to question the company’s commitment to equality.

“The promise to evaluate political contributions in the future, while a step in the right direction, is provided without details and does not mitigate their $150,000 supporting an outspoken opponent of equality for LGBT people. Target can still make it right by making equivalent contributions to equality-minded organizations and by making clear the procedure by which they will evaluate potential contributions in the future to include issues of LGBT-equality.”

Will they do it? Probably depends how much business they lose by not. Related: You know how Mom always said it wasn’t really an apology unless you meant it?