Target Files Amicus Brief in Support of Same-Sex Marriage

Minneapolis-based retail chain Target has signed an amicus brief this week with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in support of same-sex marriage.

In a blog post on Target’s “A Bullseye View,” Jodee Kozlak, executive vice president and chief human resources officer, said, “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.”

Kozlak said the brief, which addresses marriage laws in Wisconsin and Indiana, “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.”

At Target, we have long offered comprehensive, competitive benefits to our LGBT team members and their families, often above what is legally required,” Kozlak continued. “We continue to do so today because we believe doing so is right for our team and for our business.”

She said that marriage laws in Wisconsin and Indiana “make it difficult to attract and retain talent,” and they “create confusing and complicated benefits challenges across multiple states.”

Last month, The Washington Post reported that the National Health Interview Survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that only 1.6 percent of respondents self-identified as gay or lesbian, and even less, 0.7 percent, self-identified as bisexual. The outcome of this definitive study strongly suggests that the gay population in the United States is far less than perceived.

The faltering retail chain also announced last week that it has hired PepsiCo Inc. executive Brian Cornell as its new chief executive officer.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, former Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel was ousted in May following a massive data breach during last year’s holiday season and a botched Canadian expansion. In addition to the vast hacker attack that captured--among other information--phone numbers, 40 million credit and debit card numbers, and 70 million addresses, the chain’s shares slipped three percent this year.

Recovery efforts have led to $26 million in expenses during the first quarter, with $8 million of those costs covered by insurance. Target’s debt rating was cut by Standard & Poor’s in March.


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