US retailer Target publicly endorses equal marriage

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US retail giant Target has endorsed same-sex marriage for the first time, in a legal brief.

The company has added its name to a list of businesses backing marriage equality, alongside Apple, Intel and Starbucks, in a Wisconsin and Indiana case due to be heard by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a blog, Target’s HR chief Jodee Kozlak revealed the business had signed an amicus brief.

She wrote: “This week, Target joined several other national companies to sign on to an amicus brief in support of marriage equality. The brief is currently pending in the Seventh Circuit.

“The issues it addresses have significant impact on businesses. But it is more than that and we agreed that now is the right time to more directly share our views on this issue.

“At Target, we have long offered comprehensive, competitive benefits to our LGBT team members and their families, often above what is legally required.

“We continue to do so today because we believe doing so is right for our team and for our business.

“But current laws — in places like Wisconsin and Indiana that are addressed in this brief – make it difficult to attract and retain talent. These disparate laws also create confusing and complicated benefits challenges across multiple states.

“We believe that everyone – all of our team members and our guests – deserve to be treated equally. And at Target we are proud to support the LGBT community.”

Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said: “Today Target joins a growing chorus of Americans and businesses that know these bans on marriage equality serve no purpose other than to harm families.

“Discrimination should have no place in our society, much less our laws.”

Target in 2010 faced boycotts from pro-equality groups, after it donated to a candidate who vocally opposed rights for same-sex couples.

The case is due to be heard by the court on August 26.