Alex Blaze

LGBT Rights Activists Beat Target

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 08, 2011 8:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: canvass for a cause, free speech, injunction, judge, LGBT, marriage, Target

A judge denied the injunction Target wanted against Canvass for a Cause, the California group that tries to talk to people about same-sex marriage, which means that they can keep on canvassing:

petition-signer.jpgThe retail giant had filed an injunction trying to keep Canvass for a Cause from picketing at its stores statewide. A California Superior Court judge in San Diego County denied that injunction but placed specific rules on what the group can do, according to court documents filed Thursday.

The group can only canvas one store entrance at any given time so customers' acces to the store isn't impeded, the judge ruled. Also, group members are not allowed to "harass, follow, stalk, or block movements of Target's employees, management or customers."

There was a lot of discussion on a previous post about whether this is actually Target's property or not. Some of the incident reports Target submitted were for actions on their property, some were clearly discussing public property in front of Target stores, while most didn't mention where the canvassers were.

That wasn't the heart of Target's complaint, which was that these canvassers make the chain seem gay-friendly and they're worried about losing customers because of that. I really can't bring myself to care about that complaint.

While I'm not the type to go out there and canvass for marriage, I'm still happy this group won that right. Lots of American lives are lived 99% of the time on private property. A person lives in a little home on private land, drives in their enclosed car to work that only has access to corporate radio or corporate recorded music, works on corporate property, drives in their car to stores, and goes back to the private home to watch corporate TV. There's that 1% of a person's time when they're walking from Target to their car that they can be talked to by regular people who believe in a cause, and if a court kept that from happening, these folks would be completely unreachable.

Not to say that won't ever happen - the court wasn't thinking along those lines at all. But let's think about the way lots of Americans, especially in suburbia and exurbia, have come to live their lives entirely in a bubble, and then we wonder why people believe rightwing lies, have political opinions from an alternate universe, or don't seem to have much empathy for people living very different lives.

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The best part is that Target's highly paid corporate lawyers were beaten by a lawyer just out of law school. The case was that easy.