". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Dem AGs Pressure Target to Promote Pride Merchandise

June 22, 2023

Leftist prosecutors are urging Target to restore Pride-themed and Satanic children’s merchandise to its shelves. Fifteen attorneys general wrote an open letter last week to Target CEO Brian Cornell, pressuring the head of the retail giant to replace Pride displays and merchandise that were removed from some stores last month after the company faced backlash. The letter’s authors write that the missive is meant “to express our resolute and unequivocal support for the LGBTQIA+ community as well as our concern regarding recent events in Target stores involving intimidation and destruction of certain Pride-related merchandise…”

When Target relocated the controversial displays and merchandise to less trafficked areas in their stores, the corporation said in a press release that its decision was in response to “threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work.” While there have been some reports of Pride displays being “tipped over” in stores, Target’s devotion to the LGBT agenda has also cost the corporate behemoth around $15 billion in the past month alone, which must surely have been a factor in merchandising decisions.

But the attorneys general furthered the “harassment and violence” narrative in their letter, writing that they “deplore any and all malicious destruction of Pride merchandise and any and all intimidation of Target staff,” and adding a pledge to “stand ready to help address anti-LGBTQIA+ threats and harassment in Target stores.” And despite Target’s marketing of Pride merchandise (including “binding” and “tuck-friendly” clothes) to children, the AGs decry “baseless and pernicious accusations that LGBTQIA+ individuals seek to abuse or convert children.”

While admitting that they believe Target removed Pride merchandise in an effort “to keep its staff members and customers safe: protecting workers from harassment, violence, threats of violence, and predation,” the attorneys general also warned, “we fear your choice to pull Pride merchandise demonstrates that intentional violence and intimidation can set back the march for social progress and LGBTQIA+ equality.” They continue to “urge Target to double down on inclusivity, reject hate in all its forms, and stand firm in the face of intimidation and discrimination.”

The coalition of prosecutors then urge Target corporate leaders to avail themselves of law enforcement:

“As we see it, Target has been the victim of potentially criminal acts, in response to which we encourage you to reach out to responsible authorities. … Indeed, all our states have laws protecting against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in places of public accommodation like Target stores.”

That offer of assistance then seemingly becomes a threat:

“While these laws certainly do not create a legal obligation for retailers to offer any particular merchandise or create any particular displays, they do demand that customers be treated equally. In this context, we urge Target to be mindful of its obligations under these laws as it makes decisions as to how to respond to backlash against its Pride merchandise.”

Joseph Backholm, Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement, told The Washington Stand: “State AGs have no interest in how businesses respond to the concerns of their customers. They aren’t alleging that anyone has done anything illegal or that there’s some kind of public interest being threatened, they’re just hardened political activists who don’t want to lose any turf in the culture wars.”

Target finds itself in the unenviable position of facing devastating boycotts on the one side and the ire of ideologically-motivated state prosecutors on the other. The letter is signed by the attorneys general of Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.