LGBT groups, progressives frustrated with Target over moving Pride merchandise: 'Beyond disappointing'

Posted 12 days ago


Some LGBT groups and progressives expressed frustration and disappointment this week with Target over its decision to have some southern locations move their Pride apparel.

A Target insider told Fox News Digital that many locations, mostly in rural areas of the South, have relocated and tamped down Pride sections to avoid the kind of backlash Bud Light has received in recent weeks after using a transgender influencer in a promotional campaign. An "emergency" meeting was held Friday to avoid what a Target insider called a "Bud Light situation," and the company said it had made the moves in response to threats some of its staff had received for the displays.

However, while some conservatives who disliked the Pride areas may have been briefly assuaged, that opened Target up to criticism from the left.

Dr. David J. Johns of the National Black Justice Coalition, which describes itself as the nation's foremost Black LGBT civil rights organization, said it was "beyond disappointing" in a statement and the company's celebration of pride next month would be a fraud.

"It is beyond disappointing that Target is caving to violent political extremists and betraying its commitment to the LGBTQ+ community by removing and relocating items in its Pride Collection from some of its stores. It’s giving pride pimping, which is beyond problematic," Johns said in a statement sent to Fox News Digital.

"Let’s be clear: removing items from its Pride Collection, or hiding them in the back of the store - is tantamount to insisting we all go back in the closet. At a time when LGBTQ+ rights and people are under attack, at a time when extremist political forces want to exterminate us, pushing our diverse history, experiences, and ways of being into the shadows - we need everyone to speak out for us -  including major corporations like Target, and Budweiser."

The New York-based gay rights group Hetrick-Martin Institute didn't directly address Target in a statement to Fox News Digital about the controversy, instead more broadly expressing support for companies and employees working to create "equitable" spaces.

"The growing volume of anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation, especially legislation directed at, and demonizing, transgender people and their families, is fueling the hate and violence against the LGBTQIA+ community across the country. Hetrick-Martin Institute, with a 40-plus history of providing comprehensive mental health services to LGBTQIA+ youth throughout NYC, stands in solidarity with those companies and their employees who are working to create diverse, equitable, inclusive and safe spaces, as they face hateful backlash for their direct support of our community," the group said.

Other groups were more direct.

"Anti-LGBTQ violence and hate should not be winning in America, but it will continue to until corporate leaders step up as heroes for their LGBTQ employees and consumers and do not cave to fringe activists calling for censorship," Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, said in a statement, according to USA Today. "The fact that a small group of extremists are threatening disgusting and harsh violence in response to Target continuing its long-standing tradition of offering products for everyone should be a wake-up call for consumers and is a reminder that LGBTQ people, venues, and events are being attacked with threats and violence like never before."... (Read more)