Republican Attorneys General Stand Up to Target’s Promotion of LGBT and Satanic Products

On July 5, 2023, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita sent a letter to Target cautioning the company about its recent “Pride” campaign products and donation efforts that run the risk of breaking child-protection laws across various states. It also pointed to concerns regarding parental rights and inability to fulfill fiduciary duties.

“State child-protection laws penalize the ‘sale or distribution … of obscene matter,'” the letter noted (pdf).   These consist of items with sexual themes and material that is bad for children. “Indiana, as well as other states, have passed laws to protect children from harmful content meant to sexualize them and prohibit gender transitions of children,” the letter added.

According to Catherine Yang of The Epoch Times, the states that signed on to this letter have passed laws, with some in legal battles in the court system, that can cross-sex hormone and surgery procedures for minors. The attorneys general are now pushing the envelope by sending a strong message to corporations that do business in their states to cease their woke policies. 

The letter specifically cited several of the products Target featured in its “Pride” month campaign. These included  LGBT-themed infant clothing, items derived from a Satanic brand, and the “tuck friendly” swimsuits that generated mass media coverage and provoked a backlash from conservatives.

The attorneys also declared Target’s support for Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which trains members to establish LGBT-connected associations in K-12 schools, runs the risk of running afoul of parental rights laws currently on the books in these states. GLSEN training materials call on members to make gender identity decisions with students without their parents’ knowledge.

“The evidence suggests that Target’s directors and officers may be negligent in undertaking the ‘Pride’ campaign, which negatively affected Target’s stock price. Moreover, it may have improperly directed company resources for collateral political or social goals unrelated to the company’s and its shareholders’ best interests,” the letter stated.

Target’s stock plummeted by 17% the following week as the backlash against its Pride campaign fully crystallized. This led to a three-year nadir and losses that surpassed $13 billion. 

“Target’s ‘Pride’ campaign was decidedly not an example of excellence in retail,” the letter proclaimed. “It is likely more profitable to sell the type of Pride that enshrines the love of the United States. Target’s Pride Campaign alienates whereas Pride in our country unites.”

On top of that, the attorneys general cited Target’s negligence in fulfilling its fiduciary duty as a reason to send this letter.

The attorneys contended that if families are Target’s key customer base, alienating them by stocking products that go against their values suggests that the company’s board and management have been acting against their shareholders’ interests.

“Those activists aim to advance social goals by exposing Target’s valuable customer base, which include families with young children across the country, to ‘LGBTQIA+’ concepts and values,” the letter stated. “But Target’s management has no duty to fill stores with objectionable goods, let alone endorse or feature them in attention-grabbing displays at the behest of radical activists.”

Republicans are in the right here. Woke companies need to be held accountable for their political virtue signaling. The fact is that politics is inseparable from culture. Moreover, the private and public sector are indistinguishable, which means that prudential right-wing governments must take heavy-handed measures against companies that promote cultural leftism. 

Such degenerate actors cannot be allowed to promote such values and impose them on the American populace. 

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