CHICAGO - Attorney General Kwame Raoul, along with 14 state attorneys general, is today calling on Target to support inclusivity and to reject anti-LGBTQ+ hate, intimidation and discrimination.
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Raoul and fellow attorneys general sent a letter to Target during Pride Month in response to Target’s recent decision to remove certain Pride-related merchandise from its stores. This decision came amid an increasing trend of harassment, hate and politically-motivated attacks on LGBTQ+ people. In the letter, Raoul and the attorneys general expressed their commitment to protecting the civil rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and their concern regarding Target’s recent decision.
“Discrimination and harassment against LGBTQ+ people have no place in our society. Members of the LGBTQ+ community deserve to feel safe and welcome in Illinois and beyond our state’s borders,” Raoul said. “During Pride Month and throughout the year, I urge businesses to work with local law enforcement to ensure staff members and customers are safe from LGBTQ+ harassment and vandalism – without sending a message that anti-LGBTQ+ bullying will be successful.”
The letter explains the attorneys general are concerned that Target’s decision to remove certain Pride merchandise sends the wrong message to LGBTQ+ people and anti-LGBTQ+ bullies alike. While Target’s desire to protect its staff and customers safe from anti-LGBTQ+ harassment, vandalism and other criminal acts is commendable, removing Pride merchandise signals that anti-LGBTQ+ bullying works – even on the biggest corporations in America.
This is the latest in Raoul’s efforts to ensure LGBTQ+ people in Illinois can count on state-level protections against discrimination and harassment, including the Illinois Human Rights Act. In 2022, Raoul and Gov. JB Pritzker addressed public officials’ safety concerns over anti-LGBTQ+ violence and harassment in a letter to Illinois public officials. Since becoming Attorney General, Raoul has also partnered with other attorneys general to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and to defend against and call out anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination.
Raoul filed the letter along with attorneys general of Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
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