Will Best Buy Oppose Marriage Amendment?

We could have the next Target controversy on our hands

As voters in several states head to the polls today, marriage equality advocates are asking Best Buy, one of the largest retailers in the country – headquartered near Minneapolis, Minn. – to stand up against a proposed amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in The North Star State.

“Opposing the amendment is not simply the right thing to do, but as a local institution, it is also in Best Buy’s best interest if it wants to to recruit and retain the industry’s top talent,” says Andrew Korando, who launched the campaign on Change.org. “I moved to Minnesota from another state, earned a law degree and planned on making this state my home because I love how well the state takes care of Minnesotans. If corporations allow this discriminatory policy to pass, they’ll lose people like me.”

So far, more than 18,000 people have signed on, urging Best Buy to oppose the marriage amendment. Even though Target was involved in a dust up two years ago when it was revealed that company executives donated funds to PACs that were anti-gay, Target has spoken out about the marriage amendment. They’re hoping to prevent the same kind of repeal that happened in North Carolina defining marriage to be between a man and a woman – essentially writing discrimination into the state constitution.

Target is selling this t-shirt to benefit groups that oppose the anti-gay marriage amendment in Minnesota (courtesy of Target)

“Recently in North Carolina, hate and bigotry won in part because the business community did not stand united behind fair-minded, inclusive laws,” says Korando. “Target Corporation recognized this and has taken the lead in speaking out. Best Buy would be wise to do the same.”

Target has faced backlash from anti-gay groups who attacked the retail chain’s recent “Love is Love” t-shirts that donate a proceed of sales to groups opposing the marriage amendment. But Target responded: “Target does not believe that a constitutional fight over the issue is good for Minnesota or the state’s ability to attract jobs and grow the economy.”

Best Buy’s reputation in the LGBT community has been mixed, as well. While the retail chain scored 100 percent on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index this year, Best Buy – like Target – has also been criticized for donated upwards of $100,000 to a PAC that funneled money to anti-gay politicians.

But anyone who knows anything about how a PAC works knows that the use of donations can’t always be controlled and that one PAC could represent more than one ideology. Even so, the move has some LGBT consumers wondering who exactly has them in their best interest.

Would you boycott Best Buy over its failure to oppose the gay marriage amendment? Does Target’s latest statement influence your willingness to shop at the chain?