The retailer is merchandising the gay agenda for the second year in a row, with rainbow-adorned shirts, pants, shorts, swim trunks, iPhone cases, and other items honoring Gay “Pride Month” in June.
Target has repeatedly been threatened with boycotts from anti-gay and anti-transgender groups over its support for the LGBTQ community in recent years.
In 2014, the retailer publicly endorsed marriage equality. The following year, it announced it was ending gender-based signs in certain areas of its stores — like the toy aisles and entertainment sections — that needlessly assigned genders to products.
Last spring (after taking some heat for dropping the ball), Target launched a new kids home line with more gender-neutral items — a move, the company said, that helps parents shop for their kids while also helping squash gender norms. And Target explicitly stood on the side of transgender rights when it came to bathroom access in its stores, which ruffled enough feathers to spark a national boycott.
This year’s #TakePride campaign is especially notable in the face of that backlash.
“We’re making our message loud and clear: Target proudly stands with the LGBT community,” Laysha Ward, the company’s executive vice president and chief corporate social responsibility officer, said on the #TakePride web page.