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10 years later, Goodridge decision still seen as milestone

Advocates see path for nationwide marriage equality in another decade

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Mary Bonauto, GLAD, gay news, Washington Blade
Mary Bonauto, gay news, Washington Blade

Mary Bonauto litigated the case that brought marriage equality to Massachusetts 10 years ago. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Ten years have passed since marriage equality came to the first state in the nation following a historic decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, helping to usher in swift change in attitudes and law around gay and lesbian couples.

On Nov. 18, 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Court handed down a 4-3 ruling in the case of Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, bringing marriage equality to the Bay State.

“The question before us is whether, consistent with the Massachusetts Constitution, the Commonwealth may deny the protections, benefits, and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry,” the decision states. “We conclude that it may not. The Massachusetts Constitution affirms the dignity and equality of all individuals.”

Despite efforts from then-Gov. Mitt Romney to limit the ruling to civil unions and enact a constitutional amendment to rescind the decision, supporters of the ruling won the day and marriage equality has remained the law of the land in Massachusetts.

Mary Bonauto, who litigated the Goodridge case on behalf of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders and now serves as civil rights director there, said on the 10th anniversary of the decision the ruling “broke a historic barrier that we have never been able to overcome.”

“And it did so in the shared values of our constitution that we all believe in equality and we don’t have second-class citizens in this nation under the law,” Bonauto said.

The magnitude of the decision was bolstered, Bonauto said, six months later by the same-sex couples who went to the altar to marry.

“Now you had principle and you had reality working together, and all this freedom and equality from the court, and the you saw the joy in couples who finally were able to marry,” Bonauto said. “I think actually having couples marry was profound. It had to happen somewhere, somebody had to be first.”

Evan Wolfson, an early proponent of marriage equality and current president of Freedom to Marry, said having same-sex marriage legal someplace in the country was transformational for the movement.

“The breakthrough we were always working for in those early years was to make it real somewhere because we knew that once people had a chance to see with their own eyes families helped, and no one hurt, the opposition and resistance and fears would begin to subside, and we could build on that win to the rest of the wins still needed,” Wolfson said.

But the victory in Massachusetts, followed by then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s decision to distribute marriage licenses to gay couples, was met by a significant roadblock in the 2004 election when 11 states adopted constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage. President George W. Bush won re-election after making support for a U.S. constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage a prominent part of his campaign.

Pointing to political analysis debunking the notion that the marriage issue drove voters to the polls to re-elect Bush, Bonauto expressed skepticism that the ruling led to the win for Republicans in the 2004 election.

“The way this all got started, I think, people were putting two-and-two together about moral values, and the 22 percent of voters had stated that their most important consideration was ‘moral values,’ and the 11 amendments,” Bonauto said. “In the exit polling and so on about what this moral values means, for a great many people it meant the Iraq war. So it wasn’t even clear that the moral values voters were Bush voters.”

Bonauto said when she filed the case in 2001, 36 states already had statutory bans on same-sex marriage in response to advancing efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Hawaii in the 1990s.

“From my perspective, it wasn’t really so much a backlash as a continued lashing,” Bonauto said. “People who had already taken steps to be very explicit about marriage bans, the only place they could go, continue to hone their political credentials, was to be even more draconian, and so that’s what happened by and large.”

Referencing a speech he delivered prior to Election Day of that year, Wolfson said the win in Massachusetts still trumped the losses at the ballot box in 2004 because it was still progress from the status quo.

“Even in 2004, I was on record before the election as saying that any year in which we endured some anti-gay attacks, but won marriage was a winning year because wins trump losses,” Wolfson said. “We would use the power of the win to overcome the temporary barriers erected in our losses, and that’s precisely what we are doing.”

It wasn’t until 2008 when other states would follow suit after courts in Connecticut and California ruled in favor of marriage equality, although the victory in California was (until recently) abrogated several months later by the passage of Proposition 8.

Now 16 states and D.C. are poised to have marriage equality on the books in the same year that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited federal recognition of these unions.

The ruling against DOMA at the Supreme Court was coupled by a decision from justices that restored marriage equality to California. In the months that followed, the New Jersey Supreme Court has instituted marriage equality in the Garden State and state legislatures in Illinois and Hawaii have extended marriage to gay couples. At any time, the New Mexico Supreme Court could hand down a ruling in favor of marriage equality as a result of pending litigation.

M.V. Lee Badgett, research director at the Williams Institute, estimated about 100,000 gay couples have married since the Goodridge decision 10 years ago, but the effect of having marriage equality in Massachusetts and other places goes far beyond numbers.

“It will take a while for researchers to analyze and publish more detailed findings on the effects of the ability to marry and of actual marriage,” Badgett said. “One early study showed that same-sex couples in Massachusetts feel more social inclusion, and one sample of gay men showed lower health care costs and health care utilization. In California we’ve seen that psychological health is better for same-sex couples who marry or had domestic partnerships.”

Wolfson said the growth of marriage equality in the country is noteworthy in many respects, including in terms of percentages.

“As we celebrate the end of this big year, we now have 38 percent of the American people living in a freedom to marry state, up from zero a decade ago,” Wolfson said. “Gay people can share in the freedom to marry in 18 countries, in five continents, up from zero virtually a decade ago. That, by any standard, is enormous progress and real momentum, but we have to finish the job.”

Reflecting back on the decision 10 years ago, Bonauto said she hoped at the time this much change would happen a decade later, but confessed “there were times that I certainly wasn’t sure.”

“I had always hoped that the arc for us would be what it was in some ways for interracial marriage, where courts rebuff and rebuff and rebuff, and then in 1948 the California Supreme Court struck down the interracial marriage ban,” Bonauto said. “More states repealed those after the California ruling, so that 19 years later when the Supreme Court decided Loving v. Virginia, Virginia was only one of 16 states that had such bans.”

During a news conference held on the same day as the 10th anniversary of the Goodridge decision, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also noted progress made in the past decade in response to a more general question on LGBT rights.

“I think that anybody who looks at LGBT rights and the road travelled in this country just in the past decade would rightly be pleased by the significant progress that’s been made, even as we acknowledge that more work needs to be done, more progress need to be done,” Carney said.

Carney later told the Blade via email he wasn’t making a direct reference to the Goodridge decision, but his comments were meant “just as a broad reference to the progress made over the last decade.”

And hopes continue for a brighter future as advocates anticipate one of the pending federal lawsuits in 20 states across the country will make its way to the Supreme Court, delivering a ruling in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide in less than 10 years. Following the Supreme Court rulings in June, Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said marriage equality will reach the entire nation within five years.

Bonauto said she hopes the Supreme Court will settle the marriage issue once and for all, but isn’t completely sure which way the justices would rule and emphasized hard work is necessary for a favorable outcome.

“I think we have to work with the same intensity that we have up to this point and hopefully the Supreme Court will settle the issue, and then if for some reason it does not, which I think would be extremely unfortunate, I just think we have to continue doing what we’ve been doing state by state,” she said.

Freedom to Marry has prepared a “Roadmap to Victory” in anticipation of a Supreme Court decision that entails winning more states and building support for same-sex marriage in nationwide polls. Eyes will be on Oregon in 2014 to see whether it will reverse a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage at the ballot.

Wolfson said he “absolutely” believes that supporters of same-sex marriage will be able to finish the job.

“The good news for us is the same winning strategy that brought us to this point of momentum is the strategy that is going to bring it all home,” Wolfson said.

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Africa

Ugandan president signs Anti-Homosexuality Act

Law calls for death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’

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Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department)

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Monday signed his country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act into law.

MPs in March approved the Anti-Homosexuality Act, but Museveni on April 20 sent it back to Parliament for additional consideration.

Lawmakers earlier this month once again approved the measure without provisions that would have required Ugandans to “report acts of homosexuality” and would have not criminalized LGBTQ people simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The second version of the Anti-Homosexuality Act that MPs passed calls for the death penalty for anyone found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality.” 

“As the Parliament of Uganda, we have answered the cries of our people. We have legislated to protect the sanctity of family as per Article 31 of the Constitution of Uganda,” said Ugandan Parliament Speaker Anita Among in a statement after Museveni signed the bill. “We have stood strong to defend our culture and aspirations of our people as per objectives 19 and 24 of national objectives and directive principles of state policy.”

Jacqueline Kasha Nabagesara, a Ugandan LGBTQ and intersex activist, described Museveni’s decision to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Act as a “dark day for human rights of LGBTQIA+ and allies.”

Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson in a statement condemned the law.

“This new law to restrict the rights of LGBTQ+ Ugandans is by far the most horrific display of bigotry we have seen in recent memory in Uganda, and in all of Africa,” said Robinson. “The Ugandan Parliament should be ashamed of themselves for considering this draconian law that erases the internationally recognized rights of LGBTQ+ Ugandans, and President Museveni should be condemned for not using the full power of his position to stop it. We at the Human Rights Campaign stand in solidarity with human rights defenders and the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda.”

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, UNAIDS and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in a joint statement said they “are deeply concerned about the harmful impact of the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 on the health of its citizens and its impact on the AIDS response that has been so successful up to now.”

“Uganda’s progress on its HIV response is now in grave jeopardy,” reads the statement. “The Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 will obstruct health education and the outreach that can help end AIDS as a public health threat. The stigma and discrimination associated with the passage of the act has already led to reduced access to prevention as well as treatment services. Trust, confidentiality and stigma-free engagement are essential for anyone seeking health care. LGBTQI+ people in Uganda increasingly fear for their safety and security, and increasing numbers of people are being discouraged from seeking vital health services for fear of attack, punishment and further marginalization.”

Museveni, with the support of anti-LGBTQ evangelicals from the U.S., in 2014 signed a version of the Anti-Homosexuality Act that imposed a life sentence upon anyone found guilty of repeated same-sex sexual acts. The law was known as the “Kill the Gays” bill because it previously contained a death penalty provision.

The U.S. subsequently cut aid to Uganda and imposed a travel ban against officials who carried out human rights abuses. Uganda’s Constitutional Court later struck down the 2014 Anti-Homosexuality Act on a technicality.

The U.S. last month postponed a meeting on the PEPFAR’s work in Uganda in order to assess the potential impact the Anti-Homosexuality Act will have on it. Jessica Stern, the special U.S. envoy for the promotion of LGBTQ and intersex rights, and other American officials have said the Biden-Harris administration is considering “the potential impact of the Anti-Homosexuality Act on U.S. foreign assistance.” 

The Washington Blade has reached out to the White House and the State Department for comment.

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Texas

Texas attorney general impeached, suspended pending outcome of Senate trial

Ken Paxton over the last decade has targeted LGBTQ people

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The Texas House of Representatives voted to impeach state Attorney General Ken Paxton on May 27, 2023. (Photo by Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune)

Editor’s note: For the vast majority of the past 10 years the Texas attorney general has waged a relentless campaign to limit the rights and equality of LGBTQ Texans, especially transgender Texans. Today’s vote is significant in terms of the possibility that a Senate conviction would offer a potential respite from Paxton’s attacks on the LGBTQ community.

By  Zach Despart and James Barragan AUSTIN, Texas | In a history-making late-afternoon vote, a divided Texas House chose Saturday to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton, temporarily removing him from office over allegations of misconduct that included bribery and abuse of office.

The vote to adopt the 20 articles of impeachment was 121-23.

Attention next shifts to the Texas Senate, which will conduct a trial with senators acting as jurors and designated House members presenting their case as impeachment managers.

Permanently removing Paxton from office and barring him from holding future elected office in Texas would require the support of two-thirds of senators.

The move to impeach came less than a week after the House General Investigating Committee revealed that it was investigating Paxton for what members described as a yearslong pattern of misconduct and questionable actions that include bribery, dereliction of duty and obstruction of justice. They presented the case against him Saturday, acknowledging the weight of their actions.

“Today is a very grim and difficult day for this House and for the state of Texas,” Rep. David Spiller (R-Jacksboro), a committee member, told House members.

“We have a duty and an obligation to protect the citizens of Texas from elected officials who abuse their office and their powers for personal gain,” Spiller said. “As a body, we should not be complicit in allowing that behavior.”

Paxton supporters criticized the impeachment proceedings as rushed, secretive and based on hearsay accounts of actions taken by Paxton, who was not given the opportunity to defend himself to the investigating committee.

“This process is indefensible,” said Rep. John Smithee (R-Amarillo), who complained that the vote was taking place on a holiday weekend before members had time to conduct a thorough review of the accusations. “It concerns me a lot because today it could be General Paxton, tomorrow it could be you and the next day it could be me.”

Saturday’s vote temporarily removes a controversial but influential Republican figure in Texas and nationally. He has led an office that initiated lawsuits that overturned or blocked major Biden and Obama administration policies, sought to reverse Trump’s electoral defeat in 2020, aggressively pursued voter fraud claims and targeted hospitals that provided gender care to minors.

The Legislature had impeached state officials just twice since 1876 — and never an attorney general — but the House committee members who proposed impeachment argued Saturday that Paxton’s misconduct in office was so egregious that it warranted his removal.

“This gentleman is no longer fit for service or for office,” said committee member Rep. Ann Johnson (D-Houston). “Either this is going to be the beginning of the end of his criminal reign, or God help us with the harms that will come to all Texans if he’s allowed to stay the top cop on the take, if millions of Texans can’t trust us to do the right thing, right here, right now.”

Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth), a member of the investigative committee, used his presentation time to criticize Paxton for calling representatives as they worked on the House floor to “personally threaten them with political consequences in the next election” if they supported impeachment.

Speaking against impeachment, Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington), called the process “wrong.”

“Don’t end our session this way. Don’t tarnish this institution,” Tinderholt said. “Don’t cheapen the act of impeachment. Don’t undermine the will of the voters. Don’t give Democrats another victory handed to them on a silver platter.”

The vote came as hardline conservatives supportive of Paxton’s aggressive strategy of suing the Biden administration were lining up in support of him. Former President Donald Trump — a close political ally to Paxton — blasted the impeachment proceedings as an attempt to unseat “the most hard working and effective” attorney general and thwart the “large number of American Patriots” who voted for Paxton.

Trump vowed to target any Republican who voted to impeach Paxton.

As lawmakers listened to the committee members make their case, Paxton took to social media to boost conservatives who had come to his defense, including Trump, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and conservative radio host Grant Stinchfield, who tweeted, “Kangaroo Court in Texas.”

About 90 minutes into the debate, the official Twitter account of the Texas attorney general’s office began tweeting at members of the committee to challenge some of the claims being made.

“Please tell the truth,” the agency’s account said.

Because Paxton was impeached while the Legislature was in session, the Texas Constitution requires the Senate to remain in Austin after the regular session ends Monday or set a trial date for the future, with no deadline for a trial spelled out in the law.

Impeachment represents the greatest political threat to date for Paxton, who has been reelected twice despite a 2015 indictment for felony securities fraud and an ongoing federal investigation into allegations of official misconduct that began in 2020.

The impeachment vote, on the third-to-last day of the regular legislative session, capped a tumultuous week at the Capitol. From Tuesday to Thursday:

  • Paxton abruptly accused House Speaker Dade Phelan of presiding over the chamber while drunk and demanded that he resign.
  • The House General Investigating Committee revealed it had been investigating Paxton in secret since March.
  • The committee heard a three-hour presentation from its investigators detailing allegations of corruption against the attorney general.
  • The committee’s three Republicans and two Democrats voted to forward 20 articles of impeachment to the full House.

Paxton, who was comfortably elected to a third term last year, made a rare appearance before assembled reporters Friday to criticize the process, saying he was not given a chance to present favorable evidence. He called impeachment an effort by Democrats and “liberal” Republicans to remove him from office, violating the will of voters and sidelining an effective warrior against Biden administration policies.

“The corrupt politicians in the Texas House are demonstrating that blind loyalty to Speaker Dade Phelan is more important than upholding their oath of office,” Paxton said. He added, “They are showcasing their absolute contempt for the electoral process.”

Many of the articles of impeachment focused on allegations that Paxton had repeatedly abused his powers of office to help a political donor and friend, Austin real estate developer Nate Paul.

In fall 2020, eight top deputies in the attorney general’s office approached federal and state investigators to report their concerns about Paxton’s relationship with Paul.

All eight quit or were fired in the following months, and most of the details of their allegations against Paxton were revealed in a lawsuit by four former executives who claim they were fired — in violation of the Texas Whistleblower Act — in retaliation for reporting Paxton to the authorities. Paxton’s bid to dismiss the lawsuit is awaiting action by the Dallas-based 5th Court of Appeals.

According to the lawsuit, the whistleblowers accused Paxton of engaging in a series of “intense and bizarre” actions to help Paul, including intervening in an open-records case to help Paul gain documents from federal and state investigations into the real estate investor’s businesses. They also accused Paxton of directing his agency to intervene in a lawsuit between Paul and a charity, pushing through a rushed legal opinion to help Paul avoid a pending foreclosure sale on properties and ignoring agency rules to hire an outside lawyer to pursue an investigation helpful to Paul’s businesses.

In return, the whistleblower lawsuit alleged, Paul paid for all or part of a major renovation of a home Paxton owns in Austin. Paul also helped Paxton keep an extramarital affair quiet by employing the woman Paxton had been seeing, the lawsuit said, adding that the attorney general may also have been motivated by a $25,000 contribution Paul made to Paxton’s campaign in 2018.

In their report to the House General Investigating Committee on Wednesday, the panel’s investigators concluded that Paxton may have committed numerous crimes and violated his oath of office.

Investigators said possible felonies included abuse of official capacity by, among other actions, diverting staff time to help Paul at a labor cost of at least $72,000; misuse of official information by possibly helping Paul gain access to investigative documents; and retaliation and official oppression by firing employees who complained of Paxton’s actions to the FBI.

The articles of impeachment accused Paxton of accepting bribes, disregarding his official duties and misapplying public resources to help Paul.

The articles also referred to felony charges of securities fraud, and one felony count of failing to register with state securities officials, that have been pending against Paxton since 2015, months after he took office as attorney general. The fraud charges stem from Paxton’s work in 2011 to solicit investors in Servergy Inc. without disclosing that the McKinney company was paying him for the work.

The impeachment articles also accused Paxton of obstruction of justice by acting to delay the criminal cases with legal challenges and because a Paxton donor pursued legal action that limited the pay to prosecutors in the case, causing further delays “to Paxton’s advantage.”

Taken in total, the accusations showed a pattern of dereliction of duty in violation of the Texas Constitution, Paxton’s oaths of office and state laws against public officials acting against the public’s interest, the impeachment resolution said.

“Paxton engaged in misconduct, private or public, of such character as to indicate his unfitness for office,” the articles said.

An attorney general had never before been impeached by the Legislature, an extraordinary step that lawmakers have reserved for public officials who faced serious allegations of misconduct. Only two Texas officials have been removed from office by Senate conviction, Gov. James Ferguson in 1917 and District Judge O.P. Carrillo in 1975.

If Paxton is to survive, he will need to secure the support of 11 senators. With the 12 Democratic senators likely to support his removal, votes for acquittal would need to come from the 19 Republican members.

None has publicly defended Paxton. In a television interview Thursday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate, said merely that he believed senators would be responsible jurors and “do their duty.”

A complicating factor is Sen. Angela Paxton (R-McKinney), Paxton’s wife. State law requires all senators to attend an impeachment trial, though whether she will recuse herself from voting is unclear.

Paxton’s political base lies in the far-right faction of the Republican Party, where he has positioned himself as a champion of conservative causes and a thorn in the side of Democratic President Joe Biden. Paxton has criticized his opponents as RINOs (Republicans in name only) who “want nothing more than to sabotage our legal challenges to Biden’s extremist agenda by taking me out.”

He also retained the backing of the state Republican Party, led by former state Rep. Matt Rinaldi, who frequently attacks Republicans he considers to be insufficiently conservative. On Friday, Rinadi said the impeachment was Phelan’s fault for allowing Democrats to have too much influence in the House.

“The impeachment proceedings against the Attorney General are but the latest front in the Texas House’s war against Republicans to stop the conservative direction of her state,” Rinaldi said in a statement.

Paxton also has maintained a close relationship with Trump and filed an unsuccessful U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the 2020 presidential election. Paxton also spoke at Trump’s rally on Jan. 6, 2021, shortly before the president’s supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol.

Related:

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Zach Despart’s staff photo

Zach Despart

[email protected]

@zachdespart

James Barragán’s staff photo

James Barragán

[email protected]

@James_Barragan

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The preceding article was previously published by The Texas Tribune and is republished by permission.

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National

Target stores across the country receive bomb threats over LGBTQ merchandise

Company removed Pride-themed items to back of stores in Southern states

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Screenshot from YouTube (Courtesy of 11 Alive Atlanta)

Police departments in Utah, Ohio and Pennsylvania aided by assistance from agents from Federal Bureau of Investigation Field Offices in Ohio and Utah are investigating threats made by email to local media referencing the retail chain Target’s LGBTQ merchandise collections celebrating Pride Month.

KUTV CBS 2 Salt Lake City reported that Sgt. John Ottesen with Layton Utah Police said bomb threats were made to Target stores in Layton, Salt Lake City, Taylorsville and Provo. Ottesen confirmed that multiple law enforcement agencies commenced the investigation after the local new stations received the emailed threats.

A Target store in Layton, Utah, was evacuated after police said they were informed of a bomb threat to multiple Utah locations.

The threats specifically mentioned Target’s Pride merchandise, were three sentences long, and came from a “bogus email address,” according to Ottesen.

WOIO Cleveland 19 News received a bomb threat Friday afternoon against four Target stores in Ohio and a store in Monaca, Pa., purportedly from a person or persons angry over Target Corporation’s decision to remove some of the LGBTQ merchandise after a series of threats and physical threats against its retail clerks and staff in several southern states earlier this week.

It was not immediately known if the threats were legitimate, though precautions were quickly taken to ensure staff and customer’s safety according to officials.

A Target spokesperson who spoke with multiple media outlets said: “The safety of our team members and guests is our top priority. Law enforcement investigated these claims and determined our stores are safe. Our stores are currently open and operating regular hours.”

Speaking for the Minneapolis-based retail giant two days ago, spokesperson Kayla Castañeda noted: “Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing while at work. Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.”

Castañeda also released a statement from the company:

“For more than a decade, Target has offered an assortment of products aimed at celebrating Pride Month. Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work. Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior. Our focus now is on moving forward with our continuing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and standing with them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year.”

Removal of the merchandise from its online store in addition to the storefronts has prompted harsh criticism of the retailer. California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted.

Numerous LGBTQ activists and groups have condemned Target for bowing to what is seen as political pressure by a minority of far right extremists:

“Extremist groups and individuals work to divide us and ultimately don’t just want rainbow products to disappear, they want us to disappear,” Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. “For the past decade, the LGBTQ+ community has celebrated Pride with Target — it’s time that Target stands with us and doubles-down on their commitment to us.”

On Friday, Alejandra Caraballo, a clinical instructor at the Harvard Law Cyberlaw Clinic and an LGBTQ activist tweeted her disgust over the decision by Target to effectively abandon company support for the queer product lines and the creators.

Atlanta LGBTQ community reacts to Target pulling some Pride merchandise:

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