Target Corp. is selling gay pride T-shirts to raise money for a group working to defeat a same-sex marriage ban in Minnesota — and is reportedly blocking emails from one group complaining about it.
The Minneapolis-based retailer — which came under fire two years ago for a $150,000 campaign donation in support of a gay marriage opponent — is currently selling special shirts with all proceeds benefiting the Family Equality Council.
In response, the American Family Association mobilized its supporters to urge Target to pull the shirts, but has since said the corporation is blocking emails sent through the organization’s internal system.
“I hope you will not let Target silence your voice. I encourage you to call their corporate office and share your personal thoughts,” the group told supporters.
Target has pledged up to $120,000 to the Washington, D.C.-based Family Equality Council, which is working against a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage slated for the November ballot. Target started selling the shirts in late May and will continue through the end of June. Available only on the retailer’s website, the $12.99 apiece shirts come in four designs with words including “pride” and “harmony.” One, designed by singer Gwen Stefani, features the phrase “love is love.”
According to the Associated Press, Target hasn’t taken a stance on Minnesota’s ballot question. A spokeswoman said the T-shirt promotion was organized by a group of gay Target employees and that it’s the second time Target has had an initiative benefiting a specific group. The first raised money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“Target is pleased to be able to bring our guests products they want while, in turn, helping support the LGBT community through the donation of 100 percent of the purchase price to the Family Equality Council,” the company said in a statement.
A spokesman for Minnesota for Marriage, a group that supports the constitutional amendment, said Target’s actions are “an insult to the overwhelming majority of their customers.”
“Just get out of this debate and do what they’re good at,” Chuck Darrell said according to the AP. “Get out of the business of trying to redefine marriage.”