Target has made a complete flip in their views from just four years ago when the company supported a strident opponent of same-sex marriage. Target Corp. has added its name to the legal defense of gay marriage.
Target has now joined Starbucks, Google, Nike, and many other large corporations in taking a stand opposed to the Defense of Marriage Act, particularly the denial of federal rights and benefits to married LGBT couples.
“It is our belief that everyone should be treated equally under the law, and that includes rights we believe individuals should have related to marriage,” Target’s executive vice president and human resources chief Jodee Kozlak wrote in a letter. “At Target, we have long offered comprehensive, competitive benefits to our LGBT team members and their families, often above what is legally required. We continue to do so today because we believe doing so is right for our team and for our business. But current laws — in places like Wisconsin and Indiana that are addressed in this brief – make it difficult to attract and retain talent. These disparate laws also create confusing and complicated benefits challenges across multiple states.”
In 2010, Target donated $150,000 toward Rep. Tom Emmer, a GOP gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota who opposed same-sex marriage. Best Buy and 3M Co. also donated money to the Minnesota representative and all were threatened with boycotts.
To remedy the situation, Target started to offer the LGBT community benefits to same-sex partners of employees.
Of course, not all are happy with Target’s support of the LGBT community.
“This is a very risky business decision and ultimately the wrong one because it is families that shop at Target,” Autumn Leva, spokeswoman for the Minnesota Family Council said. “People in Minnesota are still deeply divided on this issue.”
Kozlak, however, is happy with the decision.
“We believe that everyone – all of our team members and our guests – deserve to be treated equally,” she said. “And at Target we are proud to support the LGBT community.”