Target Selling Gay Marriage Greeting Cards For Couples
Posted: 07/16/2012 11:20 am Updated: 07/16/2012 11:23 am
In a move that could add even more complexity to its history with the LGBT community, Target is now selling greeting cards honoring same-sex marriages.
As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting, the cards -- which are produced by Carlton Cards, a unit of American Greetings, and hit store shelves in June -- feature phrases like "Mr. & Mr." and "Two very special women, one very special love." The items began appearing on Target's card racks a month after the Minnesota-based retail giant controversially began selling T-shirts commemorating Gay Pride month.
"Target is focused on diversity and inclusivity," Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder told the Star-Tribune.
The brand's sale of Gay Pride T-shirts, which were only available online and not in stores, was also viewed by some as a half-hearted attempt at erasing past offenses, despite the fact that the company donated a portion of proceeds from the shirts to the Family Equality Council, an LGBT advocacy group.
Still, as NewsOK reported, the company has continued to be a major sponsor for the Pride festivities in Minneapolis, and also scores high on the Human Rights Campaign's corporate equality index, which rates businesses on workplace policies for LGBT employees.
"Target is not anti-gay," Michael Francis, Target's executive vice president and chief marketing officer, told The Los Angeles Times. "It's important to set the record straight and provide some context."
Take a look at 25 brands and companies which have faced an anti-gay backlash below:
In June 2012, Oreo posted a photo of a rainbow sextuple-stacked cookie to its Facebook page in honor of Pride month. While the responses were mostly positive, some commenters were outraged, even calling for a boycott of the product. Still, Basil Maglaris, Kraft's associate director of corporate affairs, said that the positive comments on the post "far outweighed" the negative ones.
In 1992, Levi's found itself at odds with the Boy Scout's 'Three Gs' principle that had guided the Scouts' membership model for more than 80 years -- that everyone is welcome, provided they are not gay, godless, or a girl. San Francisco-based Levi's pulled its Boy Scout funding, due to the group's exclusion. In response, Republican Dana Rohrabacher encouraged a 'grassroots' counter-boycott of Levi Strauss and his Texan colleage, Tom DeLay, was even more extreme in his reaction: "When Texans find out that the Levi's they have on go toward attacks on the Boy Scouts of America... they'll take off those Levi's and burn them in the streets."
Not only will this breakfast cereal reduce your family's cholesterol but it will reduce your family's moral integrity as well, according to The National Organization for Marriage. As part of the General Mills family of products, Cheerios is one of the brands that has been boycotted by NOM for opposing the Minnesota Marriage Agreement.
Although Walt Disney World's Gay Days are not officially sanctioned by the theme park, they were the object of a Florida Family Association warning. The anti-LGBT group paid to have two planes fly over the park, with warning banners, to deter unsuspecting families from attending the park during Gay Days.
In January 2012, when Starbucks released amemorandum voicing support of gay marriage, NOM launched DumpStarbucks.com to urge people to boycott the coffee chain.
As part of the General Mills family of products, which has been boycotted by NOM for opposing the Minnesota Marriage Agreement, there are attempts to dethrone Wheaties as the "Breakfast of Champions."
9. Tide Detergent
In 2004, Proctor and Gamble angered conservatives by opposing an anti-gay rights statute that would exempt gays and lesbians from special civil rights protection in its hometown of Cincinnati. In response, the American Family Association issued a boycott of some of P&G's most popular products, including Tide Detergent, and gathered petition signatures from almost 365,000 families urging Procter & Gamble to change its policy.
In 2005, Microsoft came under fire from anti-LGBT activists, including evangelical preacher Ken Hutcherson, for its support of a bill in that would outlaw discrimination against homosexuals at work in the state of Washington. In response, Microsoft withdrew its support of the bill, prompting outrage from gay and liberal activists and criticism from its staff and other big businesses. In response, Bill Gates backtracked again and admitted that he was surprised by the vehemence of the reaction. When the bill was defeated by a single vote, Microsoft's liberal critics blamed its withdrawal of support for the loss.
11. Home Depot
A May 2012 post on the American Family Association web site proclaims, "AFA is promoting a boycott of Home Depot until it agrees to remain neutral in the homosexual culture war. The total number of people who have signed the Home Depot boycott pledge is 719,037." The pledgecondemns Home Depot for giving "financial and corporate support to open displays of homosexual activism," because this helps expose "small children to lascivious displays of sexual conduct by homosexuals and cross-dressers." In response to the pledge, which was delivered at Home Depot's annual shareholder meeting, Chairman Blake responded, "We are, and will remain, committed to a culture that fosters an inclusive environment for our associates, our customers and communities in which we exist."
12. Pampers Diapers
Diapers are essential to fulfilling the straight family-making dream, which make them an odd target of a 'pro-family' boycott. However, in 2004, Proctor and Gamble angered conservatives by opposing an anti-gay rights statute that would exempt gays and lesbians from special civil rights protection in its hometown of Cincinnati. In response, the American Family Associationissued a boycott of some of P&G's most popular products, including Pampers Diapers, and gathered petition signatures from almost 365,000 families, urging Procter & Gamble to change its policy.
13. PepsiCo Products
After it was discovered that PepsiCo gave a combined $1,000,000 to the Human Rights Campaign and PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) to promote the so-called "homosexual lifestyle" in the workplace, the American Family Accociation posted a "Boycott Pepsi Pledge," urging conservatives to stay away from Pepsi drinks, Frito Lay chips, Quaker Oats, and Gatorade.
In June of 2009, Safeway honored Pride by putting large gay/lesbian Pride posters in its stores across America. In response to this celebration of the "gay lifestyle," the American Family Association urged conservatives to contact their local Safeway, and ask it to "stop promoting homosexuality," and "let Safeway know if they continue, you will consider grocery shopping with their competitors."
15. Crest Toothpaste
In 2004, Procter and Gamble angered conservatives by opposing an anti-gay rights statute that would exempt gays and lesbians from special civil rights protection in its hometown of Cincinnati. In response, the American Family Association issued a boycott of some of P&G's most popular products, including Crest Toothpaste, and gathered petition signatures from almost 365,000 families, urging Procter & Gamble to change its policy.
16. Old Navy
In 2011, when Old Navy planned to sell shirts to benefit the anti-suicide, anti-bullying It Gets Betterproject, the American Family Association urged members to "drop by your Old Navy store in your community and tell them you're not going to shop at Old Navy until they get their minds right."
17. Girl Scouts
In 2011, when The Girl Scouts decided to allow a transgender youth to participate, The American Family Association urged members to contact Girl Scout leadership, "expressing your disappointment in their recent decision to allow boys as troop members," and to "let them know you will not support the Girl Scouts as long as it continues down a path of destructive policies."
In December 2011, a Macy's dressing room attendant prevented a transgender woman from using a female dressing room, because it violated her religious beliefs. After the woman was fired for refusing to abide by Macy's pro-LGBT policies, the American Family Association lamented, "The LGBT agenda has become the theater of the absurd" and urged members to contact the Macy's headquarters to "express... outrage at this injustice to female employees and customers."
In May 2012, Target announced that 100% of the purchase price of any of its Pride merchandise would be donated to the pro-LGBT Family Equality Council. The American Family Association lamented that "Target is joining President Obama in ramming same-sex marriage down the throats of the American people" and urged members to contact Target Chairman Gregg Steinhafel, to "let him know that a majority of Americans oppose same-sex marriage and are able to use their pocketbooks to voice their opposition to companies that support it."
20. J.C. Penney
Aside from One Million Mom's infamous boycott of the department store for choosing Ellen DeGeneres as its spokesperson, J.C. Penney also came under fire in June 2012 when itscatalog featured two men on the floor playing and hugging their two children at home indicating,according to the American Family Association, that the company made a "departure from its moorings to God's Word and Mr. Penney's leadership by taking sides in the cultural war in celebration of homosexuality." The AFA urged members to "call or visit your local J. C. Penney store manager to politely inform them that you will not be shopping at their store this Father's Day," and added, "If you have a store credit card or hold stock with the J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP), you might consider closing your account and divesting until they become neutral in the culture war."
Pillsbury is part of the General Mills family of products, which has been boycotted by NOM for opposing the Minnesota Marriage Agreement.
In 2006, Walgreen's was a Platinum-Level sponsor of the Chicago "Gay Games." According to Tom Kovach of RenewAmerica.com, "by its very definition, the 'Gay' Games will invite people from all over the world to come to Chicago this summer and have homo-sex," and Walgreen's support contradicted it "squeaky-clean, family-friendly corporate image." Kovach wasn't alone in his condemnation -- the Illinois Family Institutevoiced opposition and considered urging members to boycott the Pharmacy chain.
In 2005, the American Family Associationlaunched a boycott campaign against Ford for being "the company which has done the most to affirm and promote the homosexual lifestyle." The group criticized Ford for donating money to gay-rights organizations (Ford offered to give up to $1,000 to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for every Jaguar and Land Rover it sells to a member of GLAAD) and complained that Ford had sponsored Pride celebrations, advertised in gay-oriented publications and was "redefining the definition of the family to include homosexual marriage."
When Gap launched an ad campaign featuring two men pressed together under a shared t-shirt, anti-LGBT group One Million Moms, which is part of the American Family Association, launched a boycott, stating, "GAP Inc. Brands, including Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, and Athleta, does not deserve, nor will it get, money from conservative families across the country. Supporting GAP is not an option until they decide to remain neutral in the culture war. GAP needs to seriously consider how their immoral advertising affect the youth of our nation."
25. Green Giant
The frozen vegetable brand is part of the General Mills family of products, which, in June 2012, wasboycotted by NOM for opposing the Minnesota Marriage Agreement.