A group of seven state attorneys general sent a letter to Target on Wednesday warning the retail giant that its Pride clothing line collection may be in violation of state child-protection laws.
The letter comes in the wake of public outrage that swelled in May when it was discovered that Target began selling, among other controversial items, “tuck-friendly” swimwear designed for boys who identify as girls so they could hide their male genitalia, onesies with pro-trans messaging, and other merchandise designed by an individual with Satanist ties. The backlash resulted in a significant financial loss for the company, as its stock has fallen almost 20% since May.
Led by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, the letter, which was also signed by AGs representing Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and South Carolina, also outlined concerns over parental and company stakeholder rights.
“Our concerns entail the company’s promotion and sale of potentially harmful products to minors, related potential interference with parental authority in matters of sex and gender identity, and possible violation of fiduciary duties by the company’s directors and officers,” they wrote.
As part of a “comprehensive effort to promote gender and sexual identity among children,” the letter detailed Target products that included “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.”
The company also sold products by the brand Abprallen, which the letter noted declared itself to be “Satanist-Inspired.”
The brand’s designs included phrases like “‘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 anti-Christian 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.”
After significant public outcry arose following the revelations about Abprallen, Target announced on May 23 that it would be removing the brand’s items from its stores.
The letter also noted that Target provided financial support to GLSEN, an LGBTQ+ activist organization that “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.’”
The letter went on to argue that the results of these actions “raise concerns” about “our States’ economic interests as Target shareholders. Target’s directors and officers have a fiduciary duty to our States as shareholders in the company. The evidence suggests that Target’s directors and officers may be negligent in undertaking the ‘Pride’ campaign, which negatively affected Target’s stock price. Moreover, it may have improperly directed company resources for collateral political or social goals unrelated to the company’s and its shareholders’ best interests.”
Arielle Del Turco, director of the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council, was encouraged by the efforts of the seven attorneys general.
“It’s great to see Republican attorneys general stepping up to protect children,” she told The Washington Stand. “Through a variety of products in Target’s Pride line this summer designed specifically for kids, Target is marketing LGBT products to children and seeking to shape their understanding of sexuality at a young age. That’s disgusting, and Target deserves to be put on notice by attorneys general who are trying to protect parental rights. Corporations should not profit by selling products that push a dangerous gender ideology onto impressionable children.”
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