Target Corp. has broken with its past allies and come out in support of same-sex marriage. The company joined other corporations like Starbucks and Apple in backing the issue.
Specifically, Target filed an amicus brief in a pending court case in the Seventh Circuit. Target Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Jodee Kozlak, took to the company’s blog to explain target’s decision.
“As our leadership team discussed signing on, we took time to consider the bigger questions at hand. This brief is important, as the issues it addresses have significant impact on businesses. But it is more than that and we agreed that now is the right time to more directly share our views on this issue.
"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.”
Kozlac spoke further about the business reasons behind the move.
"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.”
Of course, the move was not without critics. A spokesperson for the Minnesota Family Council played the familiar “family values” tune.
“This is a very risky business decision and ultimately the wrong one because it is families that shop at Target,” Autumn Leva said. “People in Minnesota are still deeply divided on this issue."
Comments on Target’s blog statement ranged from supportive to scathing.
A Workforce Management Supervisor at Target commented, “Yay! Thrilled to be part of a company, and live in a state, that supports marriage equality! May everyone have the opportunity to marry the love of their life!”
A man who identified himself as an “urban church planter" wrote:
"Just lost my business. I hold to the truth that God designed marriage and not man and that God set up marriage between one man and one woman. Sorry Target, I will not shop in your stores again… Ask K-Mart how that attitude has worked for them. Target will find themselves in the same place. Businesses should stay out of the political arena.”
— Veronica Coffin (@VeronicaCoffin) August 6, 2014
Another outraged Christian said:
"As a Christian, I find it very offensive that Target is joining others in making a mockery of marriage. Marriage is defined between man and woman. man cannot be a bride nor a woman a groom. It is a shame and a disgrace that is shameful and sinful act is being done. On the other hand just a another sign that the second coming is not far away. Like any other time when man has sunk to the lowest form on sin, God put His foot down and destroyed that place.”
Another commenter countered his post by saying:
"I find it offensive that Newt Gingrich made a mockery of marriage. I find it offensive that Mark Sanford made a mockery of marriage. I find it offensive that Mark Foley, Larry Craig, John Edwards, Ed Schrock, etc., etc., made a mockery of marriage. The only people I know who have defiled the “sanctity” of marriage have been heterosexual couples.”
Soon the whole comment section went where most comment sections do.
"The next marriage equality: marry your dog, two couples being married to each other. Three people being married... the people have endless ideas on marriage equality.. one perversion leads to another,, that's just how SIN is. Nasty sinners REPENT…”
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