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Over 200 LGBT groups demand Target restock all Pride merch and denounce 'extremists' speaking out against children's apparel, 'tuck-friendly' swimsuits
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Over 200 LGBT groups demand Target restock all Pride merch and denounce 'extremists' speaking out against children's apparel, 'tuck-friendly' swimsuits

More than 200 LGBT organizations and allies released a statement this week demanding that Target restock all of its Pride merchandise and denounce "extremists" speaking out against the controversial items.

Consumers called for boycotts after it was revealed that Target's Pride collection included LGBT-themed apparel for children.

Two weeks ago, Target announced that it would be moving its Pride section from the front of its stores and removing some items from its inventory altogether.

In a statement released May 24, Target stated that "volatile circumstances" and "threats impacting our team members' sense of safety" forced it to stop selling "items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior."

Designers who had their merchandise pulled from Target's shelves criticized the retailer for caving into the backlash.

Erik Carnell, a clothing designer who identifies as a transgender gay man, told Reuters, "It's a very dangerous precedent to set, that if people just get riled up enough about the products that you're selling, you can completely distance yourself from the LGBT community, when and if it's convenient."

"If you're going to take a stance and say that you care about the LGBT community, you need to stand by that regardless," Carnell added.

The Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, GLSEN, Family Equality, National LGBTQ Task Force, and approximately 200 other LGBT-allied groups signed a joint statement on Monday laying out a list of demands for Target.

The groups insisted the retail chain "release a public statement in the next 24 hours reaffirming their commitment to the LGBTQ+ community," restock all Pride merchandise in-store and online, and "ensure safety of team members who are on the front lines."

They urged Target to "speak out against anti-LGBTQ+ extremism going into Pride Month."

According to the organizations, retail employees have been forced to endure "horrendous, unhinged attacks" due to the controversial merchandise.

The groups accused anyone speaking out against the Pride items, which include "tuck-friendly" swimsuits for transgender-identifying individuals and LGBT apparel for infants, of fueling "hate" against the gay, lesbian, and trans community.

They urged Target to double down on their diversity, equity, and inclusion values, claiming that "there is no such thing as neutrality" and unequivocal support would be "good for business."

"Target, and all businesses, can leverage the support of LGBTQ+ organizations to navigate this hate, so that together, we can let extremists know unequivocally that, just as with every other failed anti-LGBTQ+ campaign of the past, fear will not win," the group's joint statement read.

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