Target Sues Gay Rights Group

Advocates cite political move; Target says activists are hurting business
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 25, 2011 6:34 AM CDT
Shopping baskets are stacked at a Chicago area Target store.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

(Newser) – Target is suing a gay-rights group to get its members to stop demonstrating outside its stores in San Diego County. The company says Canvass For A Cause's aggressive tactics—which allegedly include cornering customers by the stores' entrances to debate gay marriage—are scaring off shoppers. But the group’s director asserts that Target is opposed to his pro-gay-marriage cause. “They're the Goliath in the room. They've got all the money in world to get us to stop talking about gay marriage,” he tells the AP.

Activists say the suit could do further damage to Target’s relationship with the gay community, which took a hit after the store donated to a group supporting a Republican candidate who was against same-sex marriage. But Target says the trial, which starts today, is “in no way related to the cause of the organization” but fits “our long-standing policy of providing a distraction-free shopping experience by not permitting solicitors at our stores.” Target says at least eight stores have received more than a dozen complaints per day about the group since canvassers set up shop outside the entrances in October 2010. (Read more Target stories.)

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