Saturday, March 26, 2011

Target Stores Sues Homosexualists Harassing Customers

The retailer has been targeted by Canvass for a Cause, a San Diego pro-same-sex "marriage" organization, for not boarding the Gay Agenda bandwagon firmly enough; the activists regularly canvass outside Target stores.

UPDATE 4/8/11: Judge rules for homosexualists with minimal restrictions

-- From "Trial in Target lawsuit against same-sex marriage group to start in San Diego County" posted at Los Angeles Times 3/25/11

At issue is whether Target’s broad-based, no-solicitation policy violates the free-speech rights of activists from Canvass for a Cause, a San Diego group formed in the wake of the passage of Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in California.

According to documents filed in San Diego County Superior Court, lawyers for Minnesota-based Target Corp. will argue that its stores are private property and not quasi-public forums, such as shopping malls, where the courts have sided with free-speech advocates.

Target faced an angry backlash from customers, shareholders and gay and lesbian groups last year for donating $150,000 to a business group that was backing a Minnesota gubernatorial candidate opposed to gay rights.

The company apologized and instituted tighter controls on political contributions.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Target wants gay-marriage activists barred from property" by Julie Watson, Associated Press 3/25/11

The suit alleges the activists, trying to collect signatures and donations, are driving away customers by cornering them and talking about gay marriage.

Rights advocates say the legal battle between Target and Canvass for a Cause could further strain the retailer's relations with the gay and lesbian community. The once-cozy relationship has deteriorated since Target made a $150,000 donation to this summer to MN Forward, which supported Republican Tom Emmer in the governor's race. Emmer, who lost the race to Democrat Mark Dayton, was opposed to gay marriage.

Minneapolis-based Target insisted it remained committed to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and its lawsuit has nothing to do with the political agenda of the organization.

Target has had a long-standing policy against solicitations outside its stores. For years, the one exception to that rule was the Salvation Army, which Target allowed to collect donations -- with their identifiable bell ringers -- during the holidays. But even the Salvation Army was booted in 2004. The retailer said at the time that it had decided to apply its no-solicitations policy consistently and nationally.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Target Sues Gay Marriage Petitioners for Disruption" by Stephanie Samuel, Christian Post Reporter 3/25/11

Superior Court Judge Jeffrey B. Barton heard initial arguments Friday morning between Target Corp. and Canvass for a Cause. The judge plans to issue a ruling next week.

The group, founded by “pissed off activists” according to the website, says it canvasses at shopping malls, college campus and stores like Target to collect signatures and donations in support of gay marriage.

According to court documents, the activists typically stand within 10 feet of the store entrance and approach customers by asking them if they support gay marriage. If the individual says yes, the volunteers ask him or her to sign a petition and make a credit card donation. If the individual responds negatively to the initial question, court documents state that volunteers tend to become “angry and aggressive” and “challenge our customers on their morals.”

Target Corp. Executive Team Lead Daniel Brown testifies in the documents, “I have seen them tell our customers not to vote if they are unhappy with the customers' views.”

Also, in a March 1 complaint, a man complained after a CFAC volunteer allegedly verbally berated his wife while she was with their four-month-old child. He alleged that the volunteer followed the wife to her car and refused to move until she gave a credit card donation.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Target sues solicitors, triggers free speech debate" by Matthew T. Hall, San Diego Union Tribune 3/26/11

Bernard Schroeder, an expert in marketing at San Diego State University, said Target should have seen the latest flap coming and instead of suing Canvass for a Cause to keep it from its doorsteps, Target should have taken to the court of public opinion.

A full-page newspaper ad calling attention to the company’s support of the gay and lesbian community, its disdain for solicitors who can be a harassment to shoppers and its financial contributions to a wide range of community activities would have fueled a more favorable media storm, he said.

In its statement Friday, Target stressed its support for the gay community, outlined a range of domestic partner benefits it offers and added that it has a nearly 1,000-member LGBT Business Council that acts as a resource for LGBT employees and advises the company “about LGBT guests.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.