Read as much as you want on BostonGlobe.com, anywhere and anytime, for just 99¢.

Patriots Live

17

16

Final

Target publicly endorses gay marriage

Target has signed a court brief backing marriage equality in a pending court case and publicly declared its support of gay marriage.

Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press/File

Target has signed a court brief backing marriage equality in a pending court case and publicly declared its support of gay marriage.

MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. is adding its name to a legal defense of gay marriage, joining other large companies that are taking a stand, just four years after the retailer came under criticism for supporting a strident opponent of same-sex unions.

Target said it has signed a court brief backing marriage equality in a pending court case and publicly declared its support of gay marriage, a move similar to those taken by Starbucks, Intel and Apple.

Continue reading below

‘‘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,’’ Target Executive Vice President of Human Resources Jodee Kozlak wrote on the company’s blog.

Target has come under fire in the past from gay rights activists who threatened boycotts after the retailer — along with Best Buy and 3M — donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to an organization that supported Republican Tom Emmer, a vocal opponent of gay marriage, in the 2010 Minnesota governor’s race.

Target has worked to win back customers in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and has long offered benefits to the same-sex partners of employees.

Nearly all of Minnesota’s biggest corporations declined to take a position on the 2012 state referendum to ban gay marriage except for General Mills, which opposed the ban. The referendum failed and the state Legislature passed a bill recognizing same-sex marriage in 2013.

Phil Duran, legal director of OutFront Minnesota, which worked to defeat the state’s referendum to ban gay marriage, called Target ‘‘a powerful voice.’’

A spokeswoman for the Minnesota Family Council, which led the charge against gay marriage, predicted that the move will backfire.

‘‘This is a very risky business decision and ultimately the wrong one because it is families that shop at Target,’’ Autumn Leva told the Star Tribune. ‘‘People in Minnesota are still deeply divided on this issue.’’

The case in which Target has filed a brief combines legal actions in Wisconsin and Indiana. Federal judges overturned gay marriage bans in both states and state officials appealed. The case is scheduled for an Aug. 26 hearing in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

___

Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com