A controversial move by Target to relocate Pride Month merchandise in some stores has sparked heated debate.
Each year for the past ten years, Target stores across the United States have installed massive June Pride Month displays to celebrate the month.
This year the celebrations featured merchandise including "tuck friendly" bathing suits for transgender people, mugs that say "gender fluid," and books for children aged 2-8 titled "Bye Bye, Binary," "Pride 1,2,3″, and "I'm not a girl."
But the displays have sparked outrage in a few southern states forcing Target to act.
According to Fox News, "some southern Target stores were forced by the corporation to move LGBTQ Pride merchandise away from the front of their locations after customer "outrage" to avoid a "Bud Light situation."
"For more than a decade, Target has offered an assortment of products aimed at celebrating Pride Month. Since introducing this year’s collection, we've experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing while at work. Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior. Our focus now is on moving forward with our continuing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and standing with them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year."" Target statement
Outspoken Texan Senator Ted Cruz was also angry at Target for different reasons than Newsom. On his podcast, he accused them of targeting children with inappropriate products.
Cruz also seemed to take pleasure in an article stating Target had lost $9 billion in market value since angry social media users called for a boycott of the retailer over its rollout of the "PRIDE" collection.
Texas Senator Speaks out
The controversy at Target follows a similar theme to that of Bud Light which partnered with influencer and transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney for a recent campaign that resulted in a 23% drop in sales.
The campaign angered Texan Senator Ted Cruz, who sent a letter to the Beer Institute this week, inquiring whether Anheuser-Busch's partnership with Mulvaney "violates the Beer Institute's guidelines prohibiting marketing to underage individuals."
The letter Cruz wrote states:
"The Beer Institute must examine whether your company violated the Beer Institute's Advertising/Marketing Code and Buying Guidelines prohibiting marketing to individuals younger than the legal drinking age. Mulvaney's audience skews significantly younger than the legal drinking age."
Cruz has attracted criticism himself for focusing on the Bud Light campaign rather than other issues considered more important in Texas.
Do you agree with the decision by Target? Do you believe retail businesses should celebrate Pride Month? Will this decision influence whether you shop at Target? Do you agree with Texas Senator Ted Cruz?
Please leave your thoughts on the issue in the comment section below and share this article on social media and with others so more people can join the discussion and give their views.