If you’ve got a gay friend who’s getting married, you’ll soon be able to buy them a congratulatory card at Target. That’s a good thing: the more businesses who realize that gays spend money too, the more completely gays will be integrated into our consumerist society (and more importantly into the pervasive marketing and product placement that do so much to define our culture). But as far as human rights go, Target’s support has been mixed at best.
Target has a checkered background when it comes to supporting gay rights. The store previously sold T-shirts with gay pride themes online only a month before these cards were stocked in mid-June. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports Target’s recent boost in enthusiasm for gay rights is seen as an attempt to make amends after donating $150,000 to Minnesotans for Marriage, a group that supported Tom Emmer, the Republican gubernatorial candidate who opposed gay marriage.
If this is progress, then that’s a good thing; if it’s just political fence-sitting, then meh. Lukewarm ambivalence is better than outright hostility I guess. On the other hand, this is definitely going to help with mainstreaming acceptance of gays as ordinary people, so I’m calling this one a win, with or without genuine support from the business. When you’ve got them by the wallet, their hearts and minds will follow.