A group of seven Republican attorneys general has issued a warning to Target, expressing concerns that the company’s recent Pride collection includes explicit clothing that may potentially violate child-protection laws.
Led by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, the group argued that Target’s June Pride collection poses a risk to minors and also threatens the economic interests of the corporation’s shareholders due to ongoing boycotts. They further raised concerns about the campaign’s compliance with state child protection laws and parental rights.
In a joint letter addressed to Target CEO Brian Cornell, the attorneys general stated, “As Attorneys General committed to enforcing our States’ child-protection and parental-rights laws and our States’ economic interests as Target shareholders, we are concerned by recent events involving the company’s ‘Pride’ campaign. 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.”
The letter was signed by attorneys general from Indiana, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and South Carolina. Target did not provide a response to the request for comment.
Target’s Pride collection drew criticism this year for featuring certain products that critics deemed inappropriate. In response, the company removed some of the clothing items, a decision that led to frustration among LGBTQ+ activists.
Notable products within Target’s Pride collection included a girls’ swimsuit that advertised its suitability for “tucking” male genitalia, a feature often used by transgender women. Additionally, the collection included Pride-themed onesies and bibs for babies.
Target faced backlash and experienced a drop in its stock value, with shares falling nearly 20% since the news of the controversial Pride merchandise broke. The attorneys general argued that the company’s leadership had acted negligently and emphasized the need for prioritizing business over politics.
The joint letter concluded, “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. Directors and officers must act solely in the best interest of the company.”