What Target and the National Organization for Marriage have in common
August 31, 2010
Posted by Michael A. Jones on gayrights.change.org:
"When it comes to the issue of marriage equality, 2010 is going to be an important election, particularly on the state level where a number of states may move forward marriage equality legislation depending on who is elected into office.
"Rhode Island, for instance, stands a very good shot at enacting marriage equality depending on who gets elected governor. New York, as well, might see marriage equality hang in the balance depending on who wins both the governor's office and a number of State Senate seats.
"And Minnesota, too. Which is why so much attention has been on this year's Minnesota gubernatorial race, where candidates have staked out clear positions either in favor of the freedom to marry, or strongly opposed to marriage equality.
"Both Target and the National Organization for Marriage are supporting a candidate in the race, Tom Emmer, who thinks that the freedom to marry is not only immoral, but that it should be constitutionally blocked. And both Target and the National Organization for Marriage are throwing substantial resources behind electing Tom Emmer.
"In Target's case, the company gave $150,000 to an organization in Minnesota supporting Tom Emmer. And while Target gave the money because they think Emmer is better for their business bottom line than the candidate who supports marriage equality, Mark Dayton, no donor to a campaign gets to say, 'Oh, I'm only giving money to support 1/6 of this candidate's platform.' Like it or not, Target's $150,000 contribution was in support of the full breadth of the Emmer candidacy, not just one or two select issues.
"And that couldn't please the National Organization for Marriage more. They are also engaging in the Minnesota gubernatorial election, and this past month dropped a boatload of cash down into the state to air advertisements trashing Mark Dayton as a dangerous heathen for supporting gay marriage. The National Organization for Marriage tossed $200,000 into the ring, joining with Target to trump up the candidacy of Tom Emmer. Here's the text from their advertisement:
'Marriage in Minnesota is under attack. Tom Emmer wants to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman... Emmer believes that Minnesota voters should have the final say on marriage, just as voters in 31 other states have done ...When the candidates for governor ask for your support, ask them if they will guarantee your right to vote on marriage.'
... "There are those who think that Target is getting roughed up unnecessarily here, given that the company has really great LGBT policies and has given money to LGBT organizations and groups. I go back and I read that line above from the National Organization for Marriage in their advertisement. 'Tom Emmer wants to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman... Emmer believes that Minnesota voters should have the final say on marriage.'
"And then I think about how even if I were to agree with Tom Emmer's tax policy, how could I financially support someone who sees civil rights as something that should be put up for a vote? Yet that's what Target has done.
"And by default, today they're standing on the side of the National Organization for Marriage, instead of on the side that would treat all their customers and employees, regardless of their sexual orientation, with dignity."
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