Target declares it’s gay for marriage equality

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Everybody’s favorite superstore chain just took its most symbolic step yet toward LGBT support and away from its anti-gay past. The retailer hopped off the fence on Tuesday to express full-throated backing of gay marriage.

Target endured a massive gay backlash across the country for anti-gay political donations by its CEO and as a corporation in 2010. Then it promised shareholders in 2011 that it would steer completely clear of the public marriage debate. Now the company does a complete 180-degree turn in a Tuesday statement released as it signs onto a friend-of-court brief in a federal case against two state bans on same-sex marriage.

As our leadership team discussed signing on, we took time to consider the bigger questions at hand.

This brief is important, as the issues it addresses have significant impact on businesses. But it is more than that and we agreed that now is the right time to more directly share our views on this issue.

It is our belief that everyone should be treated equally under the law, and that includes rights we believe individuals should have related to marriage.

It is our belief that everyone should be treated equally under the law, and that includes rights we believe individuals should have related to marriage.

The brief is being filed in challenges to the gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin, which are on appeal together after federal district courts struck down bans in those states.

It’s been a long, complicated four-year road to equality for Target. Since the national outcry and protests in Atlanta and elsewhere in 2010, marriage equality is now legal in the company's home state of Minnesota where the hubbub began. It has also featured several gay couples in its advertising campaigns, created a new line of Pride t-shirts each June, and made large contributions to gay groups.

We found Target embracing its Atlanta gays in the greeting card section and wedding registery kiosk. Most recently, the retailer gained back its perfect score on the 2014 HRC Equality Index after being soundly rebuffed in 2010.

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