Target, the renowned retail giant, has come under fire in recent months for a number of reasons.
One particular reason is in regard to the vice president of Target, Carlos Saavedra. Saavedra also serves as the treasurer of the LGBT group GLSEN – which has received millions of dollars in donations and resources from Target itself.
This has stirred up a lot of anger among the public, who is now accusing the company of using its financial power for the promotion of a political agenda.
GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) has been providing resources and materials to schools all over the United States and has been encouraging teachers to place LGBTQ books in school libraries. In addition, GLSEN has also been helping students transition to the LGBT community.
Furthermore, GLSEN’s website calls for schools to not disclose any information that reveals a student’s gender identity to others, including parents and school staff, unless given consent by the student.
The issue has prompted a boycott of sorts against Target. Market capitalization for the company has taken a serious hit, reaching billions of dollars in lost profit.
Saavedra, on the other hand, took to the GLSEN website to defend his position. “I am proud to serve on the board of GLSEN and everything we do to promote acceptance and respect for the LGBTQIA+ community,” he wrote.
“We believe that every child deserves an equal chance to reach their full potential, and that includes access to a safe and affirming learning environment. I look forward to supporting GLSEN in our mission to protect and support gay, lesbian, transgender, questioning and gender non–conforming students and end the discrimination and bullying they experience in our country’s schools.”
Target, seeing the controversy springing up, has released a statement saying that Saavedra was elected to the GLSEN executive committee of his own volition and that Target supports the message of equality and inclusion for all.
Regardless of Target‘s response, the public is still enraged and will continue to put pressure on Target for using its financial power for the promotion of a political agenda.
Time will tell whether the company will suffer further losses, but one thing is certain—Target will have a lot of work to do in order to win back the trust of its customers.