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Former Trump advisor’s organization sues Target over Pride displays

My Children's Advocate, anti-LGBTQ+, Target, Pride, protest, videos
Anti-LGBTQ+ protesters outside of a Las Vegas Target Photo: Twitter screenshot

A conservative legal organization has filed a lawsuit against the retail chain Target, arguing that the backlash the store faced in May from conservatives angry at its Pride displays cost an investor money.

America First Legal, founded by former advisor to Donald Trump Stephen Miller, filed the suit in a federal court in Florida. America First Legal is representing Brian Craig, a small investor who says that Target misrepresented how well it was monitoring risk. Craig claims that Target misstated how it was monitoring “social and political risks” to the company and instead was beholden to progressive activists, resulting in lost value for investors.

At issue is the Pride displays in Target stores. In May, it became a trend for conservative influencers to go to Target, find the Pride display, and express disgust or anger that rainbow onesies were being sold as they acted offended by the idea that children could see the displays. Often they would harass Target employees in the process.

The attacks on Target soon became unhinged, with people getting angry at AI-generated images of “Satanic” clothes and displays that didn’t actually exist. Some designers who worked with Target – or any of its partners – were being accused by conservatives on social media of being Satanists themselves.

Target put the displays further back in stores and removed some items that they felt were more controversial, leading to criticism from LGBTQ+ people.

Last month, seven GOP state attorneys general sent a letter to Target telling them that its “Satanist-Inspired” merchandise was illegally putting investors’ rents at risk because the Pride displays might have cost the company some business. The letter cited several incorrect internet myths about Target in the process.

“It is likely more profitable to sell the type of Pride that enshrines the love of the United States,” the letter stated. “Target’s Pride Campaign alienates whereas Pride in our country unites.”

Craig, the investor who’s suing, and Miller’s organization seem to have taken up this call to arms in filing a lawsuit against Target. Craig owns 216 shares of Target, or a tiny fraction of a fraction of the over 460 billion shares of Target outstanding in August 2023.

At about $131/share, Craig’s investment is currently worth just over $28,000. The price per share dropped from around $160/share in May, so Craig’s Target shares lost about $6,000 in value since then, although it’s unclear how he and America First Legal will prove that all of the drop is due solely to the Pride displays and not any of the many other initiatives a giant corporation like Target was pursuing in that time period.

Miller said on Twitter that the lawsuit was filed against Target “for violating the Securities Exchange Act after destroying shareholder value by pushing sexual propaganda on kids.” America First Legal’s account said that the lawsuit was filed because “for far too long, large corporations have recklessly pandered to the left and ‘bent the knee’ to serve woke elites.”

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