Target CEO apologizes for anti-gay contributions
Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel apologized Thursday for the company's insensitive political contributions backing an anti-gay candidate and promised increased responsibility for future contributions.
"While I firmly believe that a business climate conducive to growth is critical to our future, I realize our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry," Steinhafel wrote in a letter to employees, according to Associated Press reporter Brian Bakst.
The apology came nine days after news broke of Target's $150,000 contribution to MN Forward, the political action committee supporting fiercely anti-gay Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. Target has since been the focus of outrage from LGBTQ groups and allies, facing a public relations nightmare including petitions, boycotts and the picketing of some stores.
According to Advocate.com writer Michelle Garcia, Target has promised to be more responsible for future contributions, including a "strategic review and analysis" process and 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."
But the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) says it isn't enough. "The fact that their political contribution was used to advance an anti-equality candidate was extremely hurtful to all fair-minded Americans," HRC President Joe Solmonese said in response to the apology. "Target's apology is welcomed but without tangible action behind it, the LGBT community and our allies will continue to question the company's commitment to equality."
Before this news, Target and Best Buy, also under fire for similar donations, had both scored a perfect 100% in the HRC's Corporate Equality Index.