🏳‍🌈 NJ attorney general urges Target not to remove Pride merchandise

🏳‍🌈 Target pulled items following consumer backlash

🏳‍🌈 Attorneys general from 15 states say they will defend Target against threats and violence

New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin is urging Target not to pull merchandise celebrating Pride Month, and offering to defend them against any backlash over displaying the merchandise.

Platkin joined with attorneys general for 15 states in writing a letter to Target CEO Brian C. Cornell.

"This Pride Month, the LGBTQIA+ community needs and deserves our support and protection more than ever," the letter reads, "We urge Target to double down on inclusivity, reject hate in all its forms, and stand firm in the face of intimidation and discrimination."

attachment-NJ AG Matt Platkin Letter to Target CEO

Target made the decision to remove some Pride merchandise from its stores amid consumer backlash. In some cases, Target says some of its workers were harassed and threatened with violence inside stores that had Pride displays.

Platkin and his fellow attorney's general offered to help defend against such intimidation.

"As we see it, Target has been the victim of potentially criminal acts, in response to which we encourage you to reach out to responsible authorities. We stand ready to help address anti-LGBTQIA+ threats and harassment in Target stores," reads the letter.

NJ Attorney General Matt Platkin urges Target CEO Brian Cornell not to remove Pride merchandise. Photo Credit: Cornell/Target Platkin: Edwin J. Torres/NJ Governor’s Office
NJ Attorney General Matt Platkin urges Target CEO Brian Cornell not to remove Pride merchandise.
Photo Credit: Cornell/Target
Platkin: Edwin J. Torres/NJ Governor’s Office

As for pulling the merchandise, Platkin says he understands the reason, but it sends the wrong message, "Pride merchandise like Target’s helps LGBTQIA+ people see that they enjoy considerable support and that loud and intimidating fringe voices and bullies do not represent the views of society at large."

We understand Target recently pulled some Pride merchandise from its shelves out of concern for worker and customer safety. While we understand the basis for this action, we are also concerned it sends a message that those who engage in hateful and disruptive conduct can cause even large corporations to succumb to their bullying. - Letter from AG Matt Platkin to Target CEO

Platkin and Gov. Phil Murphy have been strong advocates for transgender rights in New Jersey.

Murphy's administration recently imposed new policies regarding trans rights in New Jersey schools.

Among the more controversial rules is one that prohibits schools from informing parents if their child changes gender identity in school.

Three Monmouth County school districts recently approved policies that would require parental notification. Platkin immediately filed suit against all three districts.

The districts could also face other sanctions from Murphy's administration.

In the letter to Target, Platkin underscored his commitment to defend anti-discrimination laws. "We write to express our resolute and unequivocal support for the
LGBTQIA+ community," the letter reads."

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