Target Faces Criticism From Attorneys General Over Removing Pride Collection Items

Several states’ attorneys general announced public criticism against the retail chain Target after the company removed a number of items from its “Pride Collection” after a public backlash.

Attorneys general from 15 states co-authored a letter to the corporation, stating that the company removing the products represented a step back from the “march of social progress.” 

The letter to Target CEO Brian Cornell said that the law enforcement officials were “concerned” over the removal of the products because “it sends a message that those who engage in hateful and disruptive conduct can cause even large corporations to succumb to their bullying, and that they have the power to determine when LGBTQIA+ consumers will feel comfortable in Target stores — or anywhere in society.”

The letter followed a similar letter cosigned by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), which said that Target should return the Pride Collection items “while taking strong measures to ensure employee safety.” James said this week that as “state legislatures nationwide are attacking the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ individuals, we must be unwavering and unapologetic in supporting the LGBTQ+ community.”

Target placed a number of LGBT Pride-related items and displays in a number of their locations last month, sparking a boycott by many conservative consumers.

Target partnered with the British company Abprallen, which also produces a number of products with occult and satanic themes. The company separately produces items with messaages such as “Satan respects pronouns.”

Earlier this month a number of Target locations received bomb threats which forced the closure of locations in New York, Oklahoma, Vermont, New Hampshire and Louisiana.

The anonymous threats said that the retail giant betrayed “the LGBTQ+ community.”

“You are pathetic cowards who bowed to the wishes of far right extremists who want to exterminate us,” the threatening email said.

The threat referenced the deadly 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

“2 of these Target locations have bombs in them. We hid bombs inside some product items,” it said. “The bombs will detonate in several hours, guess which ones have the bombs. Time is ticking. 4/19/1995.”