Two corporate titans that the gays are fond of – so much so that they get the monikers Tar-gay and Homo Depot – are drawing fire, one for its gay-loving ways and the other for backing an anti-gay candidate. Atlanta-based Home Depot is under fire by the American Family Association, the anti-gay group that recently called for a boycott of the home improvement chain for its “open displays of homosexual activism on main streets in America’s towns." One of those towns, the AFA says, is Atlanta, where Home Depot took part in the parade during last year’s Pride festival. The company, Pride says, also had a booth in the marketplace and sponsored a building workshop for children. The AFA knocked the company for supporting Pride events in Nashville and San Diego, as well as offering insurance benefits for domestic partners.
Rather than remain neutral in the culture war, The Home Depot has chosen to sponsor and participate in numerous gay pride parades and festivals. Most grievous is The Home Depot's deliberately exposing small children to lascivious displays of sexual conduct by homosexuals and cross-dressers, which are a common occurrence at these events.For its support of “the homosexual movement,” Home Depot scored an 85 on the most recent Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign. That hardly makes the company a leader in the equality movement; 11 Atlanta-based companies scored a perfect 100 on the index. Minneapolis-based Target, whose roster of Atlanta stores often looks like a warm-up to an evening at Blake’s, is drawing fire, too. But this retailer, who scored a 100 on the Corporate Equality Index, is being criticized for supporting a political candidate who doesn’t support the gays. What’s that? Yes, Target has dropped $150,000 on a group backing state legislator Tom Emmer, the presumptive GOP nominee for Minnesota governor. Emmer is a conservative who opposes gay marriage, would work to eliminate civil unions and has targeted domestic partner benefits, too. His opponent, former U.S. senator and Target executive Mark Dayton, has said he’d sign same-sex marriage legislation if it reached his desk as governor. He’s the one Target isn’t supporting. Target’s reaction to the flap? We back the guy that backs our business issues. That’ll go over well with the gays sorting through the bed and bath department in search of the next best shabby chic must-have.
A Target spokeswoman said the company supports causes and candidates "based strictly on issues that affect our retail and business objectives." Spokeswoman Lena Michaud said Target has a history of giving in state and local races where allowed, but wouldn't provide detail on those donations. She added that TargetCitizens, the company's federal political action committee, has spread donations evenly between Democrats and Republicans so far this year. Political action committees contribute money collected from employees and shareholders, not from corporate funds.At least Target dumped those bothersome bell ringers that camped out in front of the stores each holiday season. The Salvation Army, after all, enjoys a history of less than gay-friendly behavior.