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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Will San Francisco Overlook Target's Ties to Gay Hate?

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 7:30 AM

click to enlarge This dog may have contributed to anti-gay causes as well...
  • This dog may have contributed to anti-gay causes as well...
The city of San Francisco had multiple orgasms ripple through the streets when the news broke that Target is planning on opening not one -- but TWO -- stores in town. Doesn't that just make your toes curl and your lip twitch? They like us! Target really, really likes us!

Get a grip on yourselves, shopaholics. Target loves anyone with a wallet. And that includes groups that really, really hate gay people.

A week ago, the Examiner and Streetsblog covered a community meeting thrown by Target executives to grease up the residents about plan to move in to the former Mervyn's store on Masonic Street.

A second proposed store would be housed within the Metreon building at Fourth and Mission Street. This is still an unconfirmed site but a Target employee had an "oopsie" moment and leaked that news at the meeting.

According to Streetsblog's Matt Baume, the sentiment about the Masonic location was more YIMBY than NIMBY. The Ex's Katie Worth quotes Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier (the Masonic store is in her district) as saying that there are tons of jobs to be created and oodles of tax revenue to be hoarded by the city. Of course, things that sound too good to be true usually have strings attached.  

click to enlarge Tom Emmer, friend to all...
  • Tom Emmer, friend to all...
One day later Baume wrote an expose at SFist that targets Target for its support of an anti-gay politician who pals around with a truly vile hate group. Gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer associates himself with the You Can Run but You Can't Hide ministry in Minnesota. The ministry claims that gay people each molest an average of 117 people before being caught. Target contributed $150,000 to a PAC that advertised on behalf of Emmer.  

Really -- 117? I am a slacker. 

Emmer, the Republican candidate for Governor, is, naturally, opposed to same-sex marriage. The state has a law defining marriage as between a man and a woman -- but the state voters have not amended their constitution like California's have.

A boycott of Target has been launched on Facebook and the story is spreading rapidly. Yesterday a mother/grandmother from Minnesota started her own boycott of Target in defense of her son. In the past few days, this story has blown up!

So, what about San Francisco? Are we still excited about the prospect of having access to discount prices, low-wage jobs, and tax revenue in light of what we are learning about Target? The development of this story is like licking the outside of a Tootsie pop and getting to the middle only to discover a turd has taken the place of the delicious chocolate.

To be sure, this is not a new phenomenon and it's also one that we can get used to hearing more of now that the U.S. Supreme Court has opened the floodgates to even more corporate involvement in politics.

But that doesn't mean we have to accept every chancre-ridden Trojan horse that pulls up to the gates of our city promising to bring us bargains and jobs and tax dollars. This story is about more than whether or not politicians (or a CEO) supports same-sex marriage. This is about associations much worse than simple bible thumpers.

The leader of the You Can Run ministry, Bradlee Dean, applauds the execution of gays. The group is closely associated with the Minnesota Republican Party and has attracted the support of the Party's candidate for governor. These people aren't just political hacks being provocative -- they are spewing some rabid, hate-filled rhetoric that has consequences for LGBT people; not just at the ballot box but also on the street.

Target gave money to a PAC that ran ads for the supremacist politician who keeps company with a right-wing fringe group; a group whose rhetoric is more KKK than it is Carrie Nation. Two days ago Target defended its contribution.

Is Michela Alioto-Pier really comfortable with crawling into bed with these people? I'm not. 

Patrick Connors is an uppity fag that would rather not be killed in exchange for a bargain, okay?

Follow him on Twitter at @UppityFag and @TheSnitchSF  

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Patrick Connors

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