Seven AGs Send Letter to Target, Warning of Potential Violation of Laws Safeguarding Children from Sexualization through Pride Displays

by J Pelkey
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A group of seven Republican Attorneys General, led by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, has sent a letter to Target, warning that their Pride month displays may have violated state laws aimed at protecting children from content that could sexualize them or promote gender transitions. The letter was also signed by the Attorneys General 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.”

“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,” the letter continued.

“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.”

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The letter highlighted that Target’s financial support to GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”), an organization involved in promoting “secret gender transitions for kids” and advocating for schools to withhold gender identity information from parents, raises concerns regarding child-protection and parental-rights laws in their respective states. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita emphasized that these concerns also extend to the economic interests of the states, as Target shareholders. 

Following the widespread attention on Target’s Pride campaign, a conservative boycott led to a significant drop in the company’s stock prices, causing a 16 percent decrease and a loss of $12 billion in market value.

The letter expressed concerns 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.”

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