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Friday, August 13, 2010

It's Not That We Hate Gays, It's Just That We Don't Think They Should Be Granted Basic Human Rights

Target Targets East Bay Bridge Mall

East Bay gay bashers that want everyday low prices on quality home supplies are eagerly awaiting the opening of a new Target store in Emeryville's East Bay Bridge mall. With a opening date slated for March 2011, the store opening is part of a three store Bay Area expansion for the Minneapolis based anti-gay retailer. San Jose and Dublin are also on the list of sites the retail giant has selected for new stores.

Human rights watchers have long been agitated by Target's anti-gay culture nation-wide and the latest dust up has centered on CEO Greg Steinhafel's donation to an anti-gay Minnesota gubernatorial campaign.

Mr Steinhafel, a long standing Republican party supporter, recently donated $150,000 to rabidly anti-gay Minnesota governor hopeful and Tea Party favorite Tom Emmer. Elsewhere, and other groups concerned with social equality have complained many top level managers at the Minneapolis headquarters donated large amounts of money to California anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 and other anti-gay political campaigns.

Government officials in Emeryville seemed unperturbed by the controversy, focusing instead on the benefits for the town. Emeryville's Director of Economic Development, Helen Bean told the Contra Costa Times last week, "The new Target will add to the retail selection available to Emeryville residents". Highlighting the economic benefits for Emeryville she added, "it's a winner in a number of ways".

The future Emeryville/Oakland store, located at the Home Depot Expo site near the 40th Street bridge, will expand from 117,000 to 140,000 square feet and will employ 200 to 250, mostly low paid workers.


  1. The Target store is entirely in the City of Oakland. The City of Emeryville only has Design Review authority over the project. Emeryville does not have the ability to approve or deny the project--only the design elements.

  2. Individuals are free to make contributions to the candidates and causes of their choice. The first amendment of the Constitution guarantees us all a right to free speech and free association. The courts have interpreted this to extend to political contributions. The political contributions of employees reflect little about a company. I would be incensed if anyone thought my own political contributions said anything about my employer. When we punish businesses for exercising speech, we hinder, and do not further, this right. Instead, we should engage in a productive, civil discourse, which is the purpose of speech. However, according to what you write here, that isn't even the issue. This is a case of individuals exercising free speech and has nothing to do with the business.

  3. That quote from Helen Bean is not from last week. That was published in the Contra Costa Times over 6 moths ago on January 27, 2010.

  4. Correction noted regarding the January 27 story; I mixed up the 1/27 story that featured Helen Bean and the Emeryville/Oakland Target with a story from last week (without Ms Bean) about the same Target store. Thanks for looking out.

    Regarding the "entirely in Oakland" comment: It's true the four walls of the future Target fall within the city limits of Oakland. However, what's salient is that the store is in the East Bay Bridge mall, a retail PUD entity that is 75% in Emeryville and jointly controlled by both cities. The Joint Planning Authority (JPA) mandates Emeryville gets 75% of the revenue for everything in the entire PUD regardless of the location of any specific store in the PUD area. Neither Oakland nor Emeryville gets to solely decide approval of any store in the East Bay Bridge mall.

  5. To the second commenter (above)-
    It seems you see an important distinction between corporate and individual donations. If it makes a difference to you, the $150,000 donated by the CEO Greg Steinhafel was made for Target Inc. and as such is considered a corporate donation, not an individual donation.

  6. To "engage in civil discourse" with a business is to not patronize said business.
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing.

  7. To simply not patronize a business accomplishes nearly nothing. The business probably has no idea that you did not patronize it and and even if it does it does not know why. To do that is to abdicate our responsibility as citizens of a democracy to engage in and foster meaningful and courteous debate as part of an effort to educate our fellow citizens on the issues at hand. For every issue there are more perspectives than you could even anticipate. It is our duty as citizens to try to identify as many of those perspectives, especially the major ones, as possible. To do that is to take an active role in democracy. We need to be more assertive and less passive-aggressive.