Monday, January 5, 2009

Target selling 'ex-gay' propaganda to gay teens!?!

Wow. My ex-gay alma mater, The Portland Fellowship, scored a major, mainstream distribution deal. Target.com is selling PF's controversial cure to gay teens, The Map:

TargetTheMap1

Even more disturbing, Target.com doesn't make any mention that the publisher is a fundamentalist Christian organization that believes homosexual behavior is sinful, wrong, and unhealthy:

TargetTheMap2

This is very surpising, especially for a store that certainly has many LGBT customers, boasts a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Business Council and "proudly supports" gay-positive organizations like Reaching Out LGBT MBA Conference. It seems at odds to appear gay-friendly while selling an essentially anti-gay product. Even worse, steathly promoting a product targeted at gay teens. I hope this is just some terrible oversight on Target.com's part.


UPDATE:

Unfortunately, Target.com also sells another publication by ex-gay activist Chad W. Thompson (see: ExGayWatch.com), Loving Homosexuals as Jesus Would: A Fresh Christian Approach. However, unlike The Map, Loving Homosexuals' product description is a little more blantant and honest about its perspective opposing homosexuality.

6 comments:

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

I completely agree that selling this thing without saying who it's from is misleading and dishonest. However, it would appear that the, um, "target" of your complaint should be Amazon, because what Target calls "entertainment" products (books, DVDs, CDs) are "sold and fulfilled by Amazon.com @ Target.com, Inc." I don't know whether Target can filter Amazon product offerings in any way, though it's reasonable to insist that descriptions at least be accurate.

Pressure on Target could possibly force Amazon to have more truthful descriptions, or it may make them drop this item altogether, but both seem unlikely. Still, kudos to you for pointing out the truth about who's actually behind this product.

Norm! said...

Hi Arthur,

Thanks for commenting. I understand Amazon manages Target.com, but I can't imagine such a brand-conscious company would allow another company to select its product offerings and descriptions -- especially products to teens dealing with sexuality.

Amazon.com also sells The Map too, but it offers a little more information. Interestingly, Amazon does include The Map in "Christianity" and "Religious Aspects" Subject, so they seem to be aware that it is a Christian-oriented product. Also, Amazon.com users have tagged it "homophobia".

Jason Thompson said...

Norm, Sorry to cause you so much frustation. That truly is not what I desire.

CrackerLilo said...

I understand why this would upset you, but I'd rather see Target.com sell a handful of products like this plus a bunch of pro-LGBT products than avoid anything remotely "controversial." That's one reason why I love Target, is that they'll risk a bit of controversy.

I don't think teens will really be looking for it, anyway. The American Family Association and other "pro-family" groups have shunned Target for years because they sell LGBT-friendly media and unedited CDs, say "Happy Holidays", don't allow the Salvation Army bell-ringers outside their stores, etc. So the fundagelical parents of LGBT teens probably won't be shopping at Target, either.

Look at that astronomical price (you can get a new DVD, a CD, *and* a bargain PC game with that $29.99!) Look at the lack of reviews. Any copies of the Map that Amazon has for Target are collecting dust. I hope that comforts you just a little.

BTW, you know that the youth specialist at Exodus, Mike Ensley, was laid off, right? I try not to exult in othes' misfortunes, but I find that pretty damned telling.

Norm! said...

Hi CrackerLilo,

I'm not so much upset that Target is selling this and other similar anti-gay/ex-gay publications online, but that their product selection and description of The Map, specifically, are so sloppy and misleading. I am a fan of Target's stores, but it is troubling that Target is so willing to associate the brand with anything online just for a buck.

Yes, I heard about the Exodus lay-offs. I wouldn't celebrate anyone's lay-off either -- especially since I assume the economy is probably the main reason. I wonder what could have been had the current 'compassionate conservative' president fulfilled his promise to increase federal funding to faith-based orgs.

Jason Thompson said...

I agree, the item is way overpriced. We posted the item on Amazon 6 years ago. It should be much cheaper than that. I'd look into changing that, but really, nobody buys it through Amazon or Target for that matter.