Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-11-25
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



LGBTs in flux with Target; Gaga nixes deal
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

With her latest CD, Born This Way, Lady Gaga was poised to sell a deluxe edition of the album containing three additional studio tracks and five remixes exclusively at Target stores this spring. Now just a month later, Lady Gaga has nixed the deal, according to her spokesperson.

The deal was contingent on Target reforming their corporate donation policy following last summer's donation to Minnesota Forward, a pro-business group who had ties to anti-gay Minnesota GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. When news of this donation broke, many LGBT people and their allies boycotted the retail chain in protest. On the heels of the boycott and public outcry, Target President/CEO/Board Chair Gregg Steinhafel apologized to his employees in August of last year and vowed to form a review group to examine all political donations in the future.

"Target made several changes to our corporate political contributions policy as a result of a thorough review conducted by the Corporate Responsibility Committee of our Board of Directors during and immediately following the 2010 U.S. election cycle," Amy Cantu, manager of public relations at Target, e-mailed Windy City Times.

Cantu (who previously worked as press advance for Sen. John McCain in 2008 and as press liaison at the Republican National Convention) also stated, "One of the results of the review included the establishment of a Policy Committee that consists of our most senior executives. The committee's primary goal is to guide the decision-making process regarding financial support of political activities by considering a variety of perspectives and factors. Before any contribution is made, they will determine that it supports Target's business interests; give consideration to the interests of our guests, team members, shareholders and other stakeholders; and conclude that under the circumstances, it is an appropriate means of advancing our public policy position."

Cantu also cited Target's involvement with the LGBT community through its sponsorships and corporate giving to LGBT organizations as well as its history as one of the first retailers to offer domestic partner benefits, along with forming an internal LGBT Diversity Business Council (which has 900 members) that integrates diversity into Target's business strategies. The company has also pledged to invest $500,000 in LGBT organizations and causes in 2011, according to Cantu.

If that is the case, then why would Lady Gaga change course and sever ties with Target after she met with their executives in what she called "one of the most intense conversations I've ever had in a business meeting?" The deal, according to Lady Gaga, was contingent on Target supporting the LGBT community in a more substantial way as well as making amends for its past association with anti-gay groups and candidates. Target representatives have said that they are "surprised and disappointed" at Lady Gaga's change of heart, claiming that they have made the changes she demanded including policies to support the LGBT community.

However, is the Target leadership really committed to these changes?

One only has to do an Internet search into the political donations of Target's leaders. In 2008 alone Steinhafel donated more than $20,000 exclusively to GOP candidates—most of whom are anti-gay—in Minnesota and other states, including Rep. Michelle Bachmann, Sen. Norm Coleman, Rep, Eric Cantor, Sen. John McCain and others. The donations came through Target's political action committee (PAC)—led by Matt Zabel, who was the chief of staff to Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., before coming on board at Target as their government affairs director last July. (Among other things, Thune has questioned the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and has voted for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.) Under Zabel, Target's PAC donated $31,200 out of its total amount of $41,200 to anti-gay candidates in the 2010 election cycle.

Target has had other controversies crop up in the last decade. These include ending grants to Planned Parenthood Minnesota and Planned Parenthood South Dakota through its foundation in 2001, when the company went from the Dayton family to new owners, despite giving these organizations money since the late 1970s and a recent "conscience clause" for pharmacists who refuse to fill contraception prescriptions over religious beliefs. Recently, Target has come under fire for trying to prohibit a grassroots, pro-marriage-equality group called Canvass for the Cause from obtaining signatures outside its stores in California, and has taken them to court. That trial is set to begin on March 25; in the meantime, San Diego Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Barton has refused to temporarily remove the group, saying Canvass has a right to collect signatures due to free-speech issues.

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


FBI Hate Crimes Report out before Congressional anti-transgender violence forum 2015-11-17
World Congress of Families whitewashes in media, Speakers show true positions 2015-10-29
Report looks at implications of religious exemption laws 2015-09-01
National: Hillary; Texas hate crime; Trump; 18th trans murder 2015-08-25
Designer Dolce apologizes for comment 2015-08-18 signs off on petitions with hate speech 2015-08-11
McCarter introduces 'religious freedom' bill 2015-08-10
Obama makes pro-gay remarks in Kenya 2015-07-26
HRC releases discrimination map 2015-07-22
THEATER REVIEW Whatever 2015-07-22 signs off on petitions with hate speech 2015-07-17
Man arrested for hate motivated violence resulting in death 2015-07-08
Global homophobia report released 2015-07-01
Texas victim of a hate motivated violence dies 2015-06-30
IHRC orders $30,000 penalty from Fair Housing Violator 2015-06-25
Kyrgyzstan passes draft anti-LGBT propaganda bill worse than Russia's law 2015-06-24
Lambda condemns religious refusal bills in Michigan and North Carolina 2015-06-11
Nat'l report out on hate violence against LGBTQ, HIV-affected communities 2015-06-09
Amendment to hate crimes law clears General Assembly 2015-05-24
State's attorney's office launches hate-crimes council 2015-03-31
State's Attorney Alvarez steps up efforts on hate crimes 2015-03-12
Upcoming events: Internat'l Women's Dance; gays on 'Hate in America'; Knuckles film 2015-02-18
Urban Outfitters markets tapestry with Nazi-era anti-gay imagery 2015-02-10
World: Turing notebook; ISIS killing gays; king makes history 2015-01-27
Religious extremists target bakers with requests for 'God Hates Fags' cakes 2015-01-22
IGLHRC, MADRE on alleged executions for sodomy by ISIS in Iraq 2015-01-21
Pope speaks against same-sex marriage 2015-01-18
HRC suspends Saks' Corporate Equality Index score 2015-01-09
Thirty-five injured in Zimbabwe; Gambia arrests for 'homosexual acts' 2014-12-31
World news: Burger King kiss-in; British poll; 'Doctor Who' 2014-12-30
Marine charged with transgender woman's murder 2014-12-17
Report: LGBT Americans still face inequality 2014-12-14
Salvation Army's LGBT stance improves, yet problems persist 2014-12-10
Murder of LA trans woman is 12th anti-trans murder in 2014 2014-12-05
Groups condemn police violence, urge NYPD accountability 2014-12-03
Chicago police violence against Black, Latino youth focus of UN committee 2014-12-01
LGBTs react to Ferguson decision 2014-11-26
Courage Campaign: CTA aims to eliminate street harassment 2014-11-24
Survey: LGBT youth in Illinois often hear anti-LGBT remarks 2014-11-13
President Obama releases statement on anniv. of Hate Crimes Act 2014-11-07

Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.