Donation history reveals Target's anti-gay leadership
New research into political donation histories has revealed that the leadership of Target does not share the same beliefs of "unwavering" support for equal rights that they claim are important to their company. Abe Sauer wrote for The Awl that "The truth is not that Target and its leadership have suddenly turned on their commitment to gay rights. It's more that it never really existed to begin with. Further research shows that Target has funneled significant funding to the most socially conservative of Republicans and that it boasts a frightening culture of anti-gay candidate support from Target's own stable of top executives."
The Center for Responsive Politics reported via their website, OpenSecrets.org, that from 2007-2008, executives from Target donated $3,250 to ProtectMarriage.com, a supporter of California's Proposition 8 (to ban gay marriage), while only $750 was split between two different organizations opposing the bill.
Sauer continued to report that the top execs from Target, including CEO Gregg Steinhafel, CFO Douglas Scovanner, CMO Michael Francis, and the executive vice president of property development, John Griffith, all contributed to politicians supporting anti-gay legislation.
So it becomes confusing when the leadership of a company (and now the company itself) has a long history of contributions to anti-gay candidates and ballot measures, yet the CEO states that the company is dedicated to equality and apologizes for the contributions citing unanticipated effects, which now seems very self-serving in retrospect. Apparently, like the spokeswoman said, Target's interests are "based strictly on issues that affect [their] retail and business objectives."
Meanwhile, as the wave of outrage begins to dissipate in the media, Target's disappointing response and lack of follow-up suggests that they don't anticipate any significant damage to the company, thus precluding any real attempts to make it right, and some begin to question the efficacy of the Human Rights Campaign's demand for recompense. But, as can be seen in the comments in related articles (above), threats of a boycott continue.