Twin Cities Pride in Minneapolis-St. Paul, facing criticism for accepting sponsorship from Target Corp., is asking LGBT Minnesotans what they think of Target's "neutral" stance on the state's proposed anti-marriage equality measure and pledging to send the feedback to the company, The Minnesota Independent reports.
Minneapolis-based retailer Target has long been a sponsor of Twin Cities Pride and other LGBT groups and events, but its reputation among gays was tarnished last year by its donation to a political organization that supported antigay candidate Tom Emmer for Minnesota governor. He lost the race, and Target promised to scrutinize political contributions more closely.
Last week at the company's annual shareholders meeting, CEO Gregg Steinhafel said Target would not take a position on a measure that will go before voters in 2012, asking them to amend the Minnesota constitution to ban same-sex marriage. "Our position at this particular time is that we are going to be neutral on that particular issue," he said, "as we would be on other social issues that have polarizing points of view."
Twin Cities Pride, which runs the annual Minneapolis-St. Paul pride festival and parade, responded by issuing a statement saying that its board of directors "was appalled" by Target's neutrality. Pride officials said they would educate Target about the amendment's implications and asked for input on Facebook.
Some of the comments have been supportive of Target, others highly critical. In the former category, one person wrote, "Yes, it is upsetting that they are 'neutral,' but given their strong internal non-discrimination policies I think we can take a 'we are disappointed but we'll wait and see.'" In the latter, one said, "Target is like getting medical care from someone who just shot you on purpose."