Target diversity business council leader talks marriage equality

August 5, 2014 - Article reads in
Members of Target's LGBTA Business Council standing in the shape of a heart

This week, Target joined several other national companies in signing on to an amicus brief in support of marriage equality that’s currently pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Alexis Kantor, Product Development director, Marketing, and longtime member and leader of Target’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Ally (LGBTA) Business Council—one of six diversity and inclusion business councils at Target headquarters in Minneapolis— shares her thoughts on what this step means for Target’s guests, team members and business.

What’s the purpose of the amicus brief Target just signed?
Target is joining a list of employers signing on to an amicus brief on marriage equality that’s currently pending in the Seventh Circuit. The information in it will be used to evaluate the issues created by states that prohibit same-sex marriage, and also refuse to recognize marriages that were conducted legally in other states.

Why is signing this brief the right thing for Target’s business, guests and team?
The brief was filed on behalf of a group of employers concerned about the impact that disparate laws around marriage equality have on our business, customers and employees. It gives examples of how those laws have become especially challenging for large companies like Target that operate in multiple states. They make it harder to effectively conduct our business, attract and manage talent, offer meaningful benefits to team members, and truly support all of the communities where we live and work.

This is a personal issue for me. While my family is protected in Minnesota because of our laws, I wouldn’t have the same protection if Target transferred me to any of the other 31 states where I couldn’t guarantee the same protection for my wife and daughter. This isn’t just about marriage; it’s also about protecting existing families. Today, I’m incredibly proud to work for Target, and proud to tell my family that Target stood up for us and wants us to share in all the rights and privileges other families get.  

How has Target’s LGBTA Business Council played a role leading up to this decision?
Our business council members [some of whom are pictured above] have been working tirelessly on a campaign over the past few years to educate our team members and leaders on the impact of marriage equality laws. We show strong support for the LGBT community, and we’ve created a culture of storytelling—both inside and outside of Target—that embraces everyone at all stages of the journey.

The great thing is, at Target, we respect everyone’s right to their own beliefs and opinions, so the council always strives to create a positive and supportive environment where team members can discuss the issues and learn more about them. Those conversations are the foundation for change.

There’s still a lot of work to be done. I’m a huge believer that this an important step for Target in continuing the much needed work to protect all families, regardless of where they live and who they love.

Visit Diversity & Inclusion to learn more about how Target helps our team members realize their diverse personal goals and be the best they can be, making our business and communities where we operate even better.

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