Target backtracks after homophobia outrage as it uses gay couple to advertise wedding registry



03:54 GMT, 28 July 2012

Target has launched a same-sex wedding registry ad with an image of a loved-up, just-married gay couple.

The ad, which features two smiling and tuxedo-wearing men embracing each other, includes the slogan: 'Be Yourself, together.'

Following J.C. Penney and Gap's own same-sex marriage ads, Target released the campaign which asks consumers to build a wedding registry 'as unique as the two of you,' and it has drawn widespread applause from Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender (LGBT) advocates.



David Badash of The New Civil Rights
Movement called the ad, which comes on the heels of the company's sell-out LGBT Pride T-shirts as well as same-sex wedding cards, 'kinda

Instinct magazine also wrote: 'Target, we know we've given you a hard time… [but] ads like this make us feel warm and fuzzy inside, so we're officially giving you the benefit of the doubt!'

Some still believe however that megabrand is projecting a contradictory stance on LGBT issues.

The new ad comes right after Target
decided not to sell 'Channel Orange,' the critically acclaimed new album
by R&B singer Frank Ocean, for which it made headlines.

JC Penney launched another ad featuring a same-sex couple in honour of Father's Day

Gay dads: JC Penney has launched an ad featuring a same-sex couple in honour of Father's Day

Backfire: In complaining about JCPenney's lesbian couple in its Mother's Day catalogue (pictured), One Million Moms has in fact helped to improve the retailer's popularity

Freedom of expression: JC Penney included a
lesbian couple in its Mother's Day catalogue

Though Target officials claimed the decision was purely a reaction to iTunes' one-week exclusive sale of the album, many wondered if the move was prompted by Mr Ocean coming out as a gay man.

And while Target was praised for donating proceeds of the Pride T-shirt line to the Family Equality Council, an LGBT advocacy group, it was also seen as just a half-hearted attempt at quelling past backlashes against the company.

In 2011, Target caused offense when it was revealed the company had made a controversial political donation to MN Forward, a group supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, a vocal gay marriage opponent.

Controversial: One of the T-shirts target is selling to raise money for a group working to defeat a gay marriage ban in Minnesota

Support: Target was selling this Pride T-shirt online to raise money for a group working to defeat a gay marriage ban
in Minnesota, which quickly sold-out

Quickly, anti-Target groups were created on Facebook, and Lady Gaga cut-off an exclusive album deal with the retailer in a show of support.

Target's CEO then pledged to remain neutral in the marriage equality debate raging in the company's home state of Minnesota.

However, far from remaining neutral, the company has continued to be a major supporter of the Pride festivities in Minneapolis, and according to NewsOk, it also scores high on the Human Rights Campaign's corporate equality index, which rates businesses on workplace policies for LGBT employees.