Seven AGs Send Target a Letter Warning Pride Displays May Have Violated Laws That ‘Protect Children From Harmful Content Meant to Sexualize Them’

The above image is of Target's LGBT merchandise.
The above image is of Target’s LGBT merchandise. (@Travis_in_Flint / Twitter)

Seven Republican Attorney Generals have sent a letter to retail giant Target warning that their Pride month displays may have violated state laws that “protect children from harmful content meant to sexualize them and prohibit gender transitions of children.”

The letter was penned by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita and signed by his counterparts from Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and South Carolina.

“As the chief legal officers of our States, we are charged with enforcing state laws protecting children and safeguarding parental rights,” the letter stated. “State child-protection laws penalize the ‘sale or distribution . . . of obscene matter.’ A matter is considered ‘obscene’ if ‘the dominant theme of the matter . . . appeals to the prurient interest in sex,’ including ‘material harmful to minors.’ Indiana, as well as other states, have passed laws to protect children from harmful content meant to sexualize them and prohibit gender transitions of children.”

In light of these responsibilities, the letter continued to say, “we wish to communicate our concern for Target’s recent ‘Pride’ campaign. During this campaign, Target wittingly marketed and sold LGBTQIA+ promotional products to families and young children as part of a comprehensive effort to promote gender and sexual identity among children.”

“This year, Target reportedly promoted and sold products in our states that included, among other products, LGBT-themed onesies, bibs, and overalls, t-shirts labeled ‘Girls Gays Theys;’ ‘Pride Adult Drag Queen Katya’ (which depicts a male dressed in female ‘drag’); and girls’ swimsuits with ‘tuck-friendly construction’ and ‘extra crotch coverage’ for male genitalia,” Rokita continued. “Target also included merchandise by the self-declared ‘Satanist-Inspired’ brand Abprallen, which is known for designs that glorify violence. These designs include the phrases ‘We Bash Back’ with a heart-shaped mace in the trans-flag colors, ‘Transphobe Collector’ with a skull, and ‘Homophobe Headrest’ with skulls beside a pastel guillotine. Target also sold products with antiChristian designs, such as pentagrams, horned skulls, and other Satanic products. One such design included the phrase ‘Satan Respects Pronouns’ with a horned ram representing Baphomet—a half-human, half-animal, hermaphrodite worshiped by the occult.”

The letter noted that Target provides financial support to an organization called GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”), which “furnishes resources to activists for the purpose of undermining parents’ constitutional and statutory rights by supporting ‘secret gender transitions for kids’ and directing public schools to withhold ‘any information that may reveal a student’s gender identity to others, including [to] parents or guardians.'”

Rokita wrote that the Pride displays, coupled with the support for GLSEN, “raise concerns under our States’ child-protection and parental-rights laws but also against our States’ economic interests as Target shareholders.”

After news of Target’s Pride campaign went viral, a conservative boycott caused the company’s stock prices to plummet by 16 percent. The company has already lost $12 billion in market value.

The letter explained that “losses of this magnitude—caused by isolating Target’s core customers—raise concerns that Target’s board and management may have acted negligently. Further evidence suggests Target’s leadership may have acted on collateral interests.”

“Target’s management has no duty to fill stores with objectionable goods, let alone endorse or feature them in attention-grabbing displays at the behest of radical activists,” the letter says. “However, Target management does have fiduciary duties to its shareholders to prudently manage the company and act loyally in the company’s best interests. Target’s board and its management may not lawfully dilute their fiduciary duties to satisfy the Board’s (or left-wing activists’) desires to foist contentious social or political agendas upon families and children at the expense of the company’s hardwon goodwill and against its best interests.”