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Target files brief in Indiana case in support of gay marriage

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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. The company has filed a court brief backing marriage equality  in the case pending before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals invovling Indiana and Wisconsin same-sex marriages.

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

"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.

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  1. He did not have an "unlicensed handgun" in his pocket. Firearms are not licensed in Indiana. He apparently possessed a handgun without a license to carry, but it's not the handgun that is licensed (or registered).

  2. Once again, Indiana's legislature proves how friendly it is to monopolies. This latest bill by Hershman demonstrates the lengths Indiana's representatives are willing to go to put big business's (especially utilities') interests above those of everyday working people. Maassal argues that if the technology (solar) is so good, it will be able to compete on its own. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about the industries he represents. Instead, he wants to cut the small credit consumers get for using solar in order to "add a 'level of certainty'" to his industry. I haven't heard of or seen such a blatant money-grab by an industry since the days when our federal, state, and local governments were run by the railroad. Senator Hershman's constituents should remember this bill the next time he runs for office, and they should penalize him accordingly.

  3. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  4. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  5. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

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