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Target applauded for embracing LGBT equality through its social media

Target applauded for embracing LGBT equality through its social media

The Target Pride logo

A recent posting by retailer Target on its Instagram feed has become the corporation’s most liked image on the social media site; it’s an image demonstrating the organization’s support for LGBTI rights.

Last week, in response to ongoing debates around the introduction of religious freedom laws in Indiana, Arkansas and other US states, Target felt moved to make a statement on the issue.

A message on its corporate site said: ‘In recent days, we’ve heard from you, our guests. You’ve asked us for Target’s thoughts about what it means to have an inclusive culture.

‘You’ve asked us if, given the current conversations taking place across our country, we were taking a stand. And while most of those have been one-on-one conversations as you have called or emailed us, we wanted to take time to share our thoughts more broadly.

‘They are simple.

‘Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed here.’

At the same time as it posted this statement on its site, it changed the cover on its Facebook and Twitter pages to feature an image of a rainbow intersecting with the Target logo.

It posted the same image on its Instagram, along with the same message: Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed here.

Over the Easter weekend, the posting elicited over 23,000 likes on Instagram, making it Target’s most-liked image. It also prompted over 1,500 comments, with many congratulating Target on its stance.

Everyone deserves to feel they belong. You’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed here.

A photo posted by Target (@target) on


The same image on its Twitter feed was re-Tweeted over 2,600 times.

Target has had a controversial history with regard to LGBTI rights. In 2010, it was widely criticized when it was discovered that it had made campaign contributions to an anti-gay politician – prompting a backlash from gay customers and calls for boycotts.

However, the corporation seems to have learned a lesson from that episode, and since that time, it has spoken out in support of same-sex marriage and launched other initiatives to demonstrate its support of LGBTI issues – including a same-sex registry advert and greetings cards for same-sex newlyweds.

Last month, it was one of 379 businesses to sign a friend-of-court-brief to the US Supreme Court in support of gay marriage.

Commenting on the social media campaign, Thomas Roth of Community Marketing, Inc (CMI) – an organization that specializes in LGBTI market intelligence – told Gay Star Business, ‘Target earns serious LGBT street-cred for this Facebook move, but not only because it is bold, and helps inform/change public opinion. But also because it’s not a one-off; it’s the latest in a series of right moves for the brand.

‘Target has long been inclusive. The poorly timed and directed donation to a pro-business, but also anti-gay, candidate years ago, and resulting call for a boycott, has long been erased by a series of very public moves to the contrary.’

He pointed out that the company is currently ranked #1, alongside Starbucks, in CMI’s recent LGBT Community Survey of brands beloved for their pro-LGBT policies and practices.

‘This indicates that what they are doing is breaking through the clutter, and making a positive impact for the community.’

Target have been approached for further comment.