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Mississippi AG Threatens Target Over ‘Obscene,’ ‘Satanic’ Pride Merch

Attorney General Lynn Fitch standing beside the large red State of Mississippi Attorney General seal on a wall
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch joined six Republican attorneys general in signing a letter to the CEO and chairman of the Target Corporation. Photo courtesy Lynn Fitch

Target’s recent Pride merchandise campaign could be harmful to children and may have run afoul of legal obligations, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch and six Republican attorneys general claimed in a July 5 letter to Target Corporation CEO and Chairman Brian C. Cornell.

“Our concerns entail the company’s promotion and sale of potentially harmful products to minors, related potential interference with parental authority in matters of sex and gender identity, and possible violation of fiduciary duties by the company’s directors and officers,” the letter says.

The attorneys called the Target Pride collection “obscene,” mentioning clothing items with LGBTQ+ slogans and images, like a T-shirt that said “Girls Gays Theys” and “girls’ swimsuits with ‘tuck-friendly construction’ and ‘extra crotch coverage’ for male genitalia.” The swimsuits are only available in adult sizes, a Target spokesperson told PolitiFact.

“During this campaign, Target wittingly marketed and sold LGBTQIA+ promotional products to families and young children as part of a comprehensive effort to promote gender and sexual identity among children,” the letter says.

Target’s website says the company has been selling Pride merchandise for 10 years and wants to “inspire feelings of solidarity and empathy with the LGBTQIA+ community” through its Pride Month marketing campaign.

The attorneys general’s letter says the company had “anti-Christian designs, such as pentagrams, horned skulls, and other Satanic products” up for sale.

“Target’s management has no duty to fill stores with objectionable goods, let alone endorse or feature them in attention-grabbing displays at the behest of radical activists,” the letter says.

The letter cites worries about Target annually donating to GLSEN, an organization that promotes safe learning environments for LBGTQ+ students, claiming that GLSEN supports “secret gender transitions for kids.”

The organization does not help children transition by supplying hormone therapy or gender-transition procedures. Its website has a privacy policy that tells educators and administrators how to support transgender and nonbinary students.

“Staff or educators shall not disclose any information that may reveal a student’s gender identity to others, including parents or guardians and other staff, unless the student has authorized such disclosure,” the policy says.

The attorneys’ letter asks Target to act in the best interest of its shareholders by “prudently” managing the company and acting “loyally in the company’s best interests.” The company has lost money and stock value after this year’s Pride campaign caused a “massive backlash from families,” it says.

Target’s stock value dropped after anti-LGBTQ+ activist organizations began a campaign against the company in mid-May, but has since recovered from its June lows. Target removed some Pride merchandise in June, citing threats against employees from anti-LGBTQ activists.

Target should not try to appease “left-wing activists” by forcing “political agendas upon families and children,” the attorneys in the July 5 letter wrote.

“We live in a different day and age from our nation’s founding. But certain immutable precepts and principles must always endure so long as America is to remain free and prosperous,” the letter concludes.

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