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Target Files Pro-LGBT Briefs To Fight For Marriage Equality

After largely remaining silent when Target's home state of Minnesota was having its marriage equality battle in 2012, the massive retailer has come out swinging this year to fight for same-sex marriage in nearby Wisconsin and Indiana. Target filed amicus briefs in support of marriage equality  in court cases in both states early Wednesday. 

The news was shared by Target's Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Jodee Kozlak, who wrote on the company's blog:

If you’ve been a fan or follower of Target for some time, you’ve likely heard us say those words. You may have heard us talk about our long-standing commitment to inclusivity and diversity. Those aren’t just words. They are how we conduct ourselves – as a business and as a team. And as a part of that belief, we continually evaluate where we are as a company to ensure we are taking steps that balance doing what is right for our business, guests and for our team.

It is in that same spirit that, this week, Target joined several other national companies to sign on to an amicus brief in support of marriage equality. The brief is currently pending in the Seventh Circuit.

As our leadership team discussed signing on, we took time to consider the bigger questions at hand. This brief is important, as the issues it addresses have significant impact on businesses. But it is more than that and we agreed that now is the right time to more directly share our views on this issue.

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.

Without getting into the specifics of a court case, this brief evaluates the issues created by states that both prohibit same-sex marriage and also refuse to recognize marriages that were conducted legally in other states. This position is particularly challenging for a large organization that operates nationally, such as Target. At Target, we have long offered comprehensive, competitive benefits to our LGBT team members and their families, often above what is legally required. We continue to do so today because we believe doing so is right for our team and for our business. But current laws — in places like Wisconsin and Indiana that are addressed in this brief – make it difficult to attract and retain talent. These disparate laws also create confusing and complicated benefits challenges across multiple states.

We believe that everyone – all of our team members and our guests – deserve to be treated equally. And at Target we are proud to support the LGBT community.

The Human Rights Campaign, which has long followed Target's storied history with the LGBT community, applauded the move:

“Today Target joins a growing chorus of Americans and businesses that know these bans on marriage equality serve no purpose other than to harm families,” said Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin. “Discrimination should have no place in our society, much less our laws. We are grateful to Target for speaking out and standing up for the rights of not just its LGBT employees, but Americans from across the country who deserve to be treated with fairness and equality under the law.”