BUSINESS

Target publicly backs gay marriage

Target signs an amicus brief in support of gay marriage, citing national competitive hiring needs
In endorsing gay marriage, Target joins a growing list of companies supporting the issue

Target Corp. publicly endorsed gay marriage for the first time, joining a number of other companies that have taken a side on the issue.

The Minneapolis retailer said it signed an amicus brief in support of same-sex marriage for a pending court case, the company revealed in a Tuesday blog post. Many corporations, including Apple, Starbucks, EBay and Google, have expressed support for marriage rights for all.

Jodee Kozlak, Target's chief human resources officer, said states that ban gay marriage create problems for national organizations seeking to provide competitive benefits to all employees.

"It is our belief that everyone should be treated equally under the law, and that includes rights we believe individuals should have related to marriage," she wrote in the blog post.

The announcement came on the same day that Target cut its second-quarter earnings forecast.

The company is still dealing with fallout from a massive data breach during the holidays, when hackers made off with credit and debit card information for tens of millions of customers. Target said it expects expenses related to the breach to hit nearly $150 million in the second quarter.

Target has been publicly enmeshed in the gay marriage debate before.

The retailer found itself heavily criticized by gay rights advocates in 2010 after donating money to MN Forward, a political group that was backing a conservative Minnesota gubernatorial candidate opposed to gay marriage.

Although Target said the donation was made to support the group's pro-business stance, some shoppers boycotted the chain. The company ended up going on the offensive and promoting its diverse workforce.

Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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