Republican attorney generals from seven states have signed a letter to Target, insinuating that the retailer’s LGBTQ+ youth content and merchandise may be considered obscene and in violation of the law.
The letter criticizes Target for offering youth-sized clothing featuring Pride themes and asserts that the states are obliged to “enforce state laws protecting children” from “content that sexualizes them,” including obscenity laws. The letter also suggests that Target may be breaching the law by making decisions that are allegedly “unprofitable” and not in the best interests of its shareholders, citing this as a violation of the company’s fiduciary duty. The letter, which is six pages long, does not provide specific details regarding potential legal consequences if Target continues to sell the merchandise in question. Lacking legislation that specifically declares content such as Target’s Pride line as obscene, some state attorneys general may turn to interpret old obscenity laws as including LGBTQ+ content.
While most legislation labeling LGBTQ+ content as obscene did not pass this year, advocates are concerned about the growing momentum behind such measures. There is an escalating trend among states in targeting the LGBTQ+ community, particularly on issues pertaining to gender identity. The seven Attorneys General are, Todd Rokita, Tim Griffin, Raul Labrador, Daniel Cameron, Lynn Fitch, Andrew Bailey, and Alan Wilson.