Eight months after sparking a national firestorm over donations in support of a political candidate who opposed gay rights, Target Corp. once again is raising the ire of the gay and lesbian community by suing a California advocacy group that has been lobbying for same-sex marriage outside its stores.
The company wants to ban activists with the grassroots group Canvass for a Cause from its properties, saying their recent activities at eight San Diego-area stores have made customers feel uncomfortable and could be hurting business.
“In response to feedback from many guests, Target long ago established a solicitation policy at our stores nationwide,” the company said in a statement. “We do not permit solicitation or petitioning at our stores regardless of the cause or issue being represented.”
Lawyers for Canvass for a Cause have argued in court filings that store fronts and shopping centers are part of the public square, where free speech ought to be protected.