I am still over the moon about the repeal of DADT. I feel like it's a giant step along the Yellow brick road toward full equality for LGBT Americans, and it gives me such hope for the future. A future when gay men can marry, or not marry, if they choose, a future where an LGBT person cannot be fired, or evicted, or discriminated against simple for being themselves.
Hope is good, until reality sets it. And reality has reared it's ugly head at Target again.
Y'all remember when Target got nailed for donating money to a PAC [Political Action Committee] that then donated money to a rabidly anti-gay politician, Tom Emmer, who then gave some of his money to a "Christian" rock band who believes the moral thing to do is Kill The Gays?
And, I'm sure you remember when Target apologized, to it's employees, and not the LGBT community, for it's donations. And then, in the face of continued boycotts against the corporate giant, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel vowed to work with the Human Rights Campaign [HRC] to repair their tarnished image. That is, until he changed his mind and stopped working with the HRC.
Now, according to documents filed with the FEC last October, comes the news that Target is still donating money to several anti-gay politicians, even after Gregg Steinhafel apologized, even after Gregg Steinhafel vowed to reform the corporate review process for future political donations. In fact, some of these anti-gay politicians cashing donation checks from Target are some of the same anti-gay politicians the company had already been criticized for supporting.
It was back in August that Steinhafel released a statement, apologizing for how Target's decision had affected many "in a way I did not anticipate." In fact, Steinhafel also wrote that "… later this fall, Target will take a leadership role in bringing together a group of companies and partner organizations for a dialogue focused on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including GLBT issues."
In the fall.
Well, by October, Target was back to funding anti-gay politicians.
The updated Federal Election Commission [FEC] database coughed up filings that Target has continued to make significant political donations, the majority of which went to anti-gay equality politicians. In fact, shortly after Gregg Steinhafel's August 5 mea culpa letter, Target's PAC recorded $41,200 in federal election activity. Of that total, $31,200 went to anti-gay rights politicians or PACs supporting those candidates.
To be fair, I guess, supporters of gay equality did get some money: in September, Target PAC gave $1,000 to Chuck Schumer. Still, it seems a little lopsided though, doesn't it? Thirty-thousand to anti-gay politicians and just $1,000 to a pro-equality candidate. But, just to even things out, I guess, on the heels of that $1,000 to Schumer, Target PAC donated the same amount to Kelly Ayotte who opposes both gay marriage and same sex adoption.
Target PAC also donated money to Spencer Bachus, who voted to ban same-sex adoption, while in Michigan, David Camp, who supports a Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage and voted against protecting gays from job discrimination based on sexual orientation, also reported money received from Target. All through the fall--and remember, it was Steinhafel who said Target would work through the fall with the LGBT community to repair its image--Target PAC donated thousands of dollars to Michael Crapo and Dave Reichert, both of whom support anti-gay Constitutional amendments, and Rob Portman, a supporter of banning gays from adopting.
In addition, after Gregg Steinhafel's 'pledge,' Target PAC sent money to other PACs, like $8,500 to Every Republican is Crucial PAC, Freedom and Security PAC and the Majority Committee PAC, all three supporters of both Michele Bachmann and Roy Blunt.
Way to work with the LGBT community Gregg!
But what is most sickening is that some of the very candidates Target was initially criticized over for donating to their campaigns back in July, namely John Kline and Erik Paulsen, is the idea that Target continues to fund both of these vehemently anti-gay equality candidates.
Erik Paulsen, a former Target employee and a friend to Focus on the Family's James Dobson, recently voted against the DADT repeal, and has come out against classifying anti-gay attacks as hate crimes.
John Kline, on the other hand, received the maximum donation possible from Target, some $5,000, back in September. Kline is, of course, anti-gay marriage, but he has also voted against prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation and against treating anti-gay attacks as hate crimes. In fact, Kline goes above and beyond the call of bigot whenever he gets the chance. In 2009, John Kline added his name as a plaintiff to a lawsuit filed against the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics demanding a voter referendum on banning gay marriage, signing alongside such homophobes and haters as John Boehner, Eric Cantor, John Boozman, and Michele Bachmann.
Target sure knows how to pick 'em.
And, sad to say, when asked about these massive donations to anti-gay politicians, versus the thousand bucks to Chuck Shumer, Target has nothing to say. It seems that Target puts its money where its mouth is, and the LGBT ought to do the same by continuing a boycott of Target and all of it's anti-gay politicians.
We've made a step along the road toward full equality, with the repeal of DADT, but we need to continue to fight those who fight us. we need to stand up to those who choose to fund hate with our money. And let's be clear, if you shop at Target, you are donating money to anti-gay politicians, and I don't think you want that.
I think we want equality.