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Florida Family Association decries Target advertising on ‘shameful’ gay-friendly show

Minnesota-based big box retailer Target is coming under fire from anti-gay groups for commercials it bought during airing of a teen drama on a Nickelodeon offshoot.

Caton’s organization, the Florida Family Association, is an affiliate of the American Family Association, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled an anti-gay hate group. They take issue with advertising Target has bought during the show Degrassi on Nick Teen.

“Target is the only major retailer that is advertising on this irresponsible and shameful show,” wrote David Caton of the Florida Family Association. “This is a point that I will remember when choosing where to shop.”

One Million Moms, another affiliate of the AFA, joined the campaign against Target.

“Upon discovering that Target Corporation is one of the main advertisers during the shameful and inappropriate program Degrassi,” the group wrote. “OMM is disappointed and the retail chain needs to be held accountable. At least three Target advertisements appeared during each episode of Degrassi this past weekend.”

The Florida group also pressured Minnesota-based General Mills in August for advertising on an ABC Family show that had a lesbian character. Caton and the FFA declared victory, but General Mills disputed that and said they didn’t pull any ads over LGBT issues.

Both the FFA and OMM have launched email campaigns to Target headquarters asking them to pull advertising from Teen Nick.

Target found itself at the other end of the issue in the fall of 2010 when it made donations to an independent expenditure committee supporting Republican Tom Emmer for governor. Emmer’s position against LGBT rights sparked a large-scale boycott of the retailer.

The Florida groups are also targeting ads on the network for the Trevor Project, a toll-free hot-line for LGBT teens at risk for suicide, because they say it indoctrinates children.

“I was disappointed to learn that Target is a leading advertiser during a television show that affirms and promotes the homosexual and transgender lifestyles, as well as other inappropriate behavior to an audience that is almost exclusively young teens and children,” wrote Caton. “It was equally concerning that Target advertised three times during the October 17, 2011, 9:30 p.m.“Beat It” episode of Degrassi, when Teen Nick aired a promotion for TheTrevorHelpline.org.”

According to the Trevor Project, the group is the “leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.”

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