On Tuesday, the Arkansas legislature passed a near-copy of Indiana's widely criticized "religious freedom" bill—believed by many to allow discrimination against gays and lesbians—drawing staunch criticism from an unexpected source: Walmart.
"Today's passage of [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] threatens to undermine the spirit of inclusion present throughout the state of Arkansas and does not reflect the values we proudly uphold" wrote CEO Doug McMillon via a corporate Twitter account, apparently without irony. "For these reasons, we are asking Governor Hutchinson to veto this legislation."
With this statement, the Arkansas-based retail giant joins a surprising alliance of organizations, including NASCAR and the NCAA, that recognize the (business-killing) odiousness of such laws and have stepped forward to denounce them.
Predictably, some customers did not appreciate the company's sudden attack of conscience:
— Aaron Henager (@AaronHenager1) March 31, 2015
— JoeC (@JoeC1776) April 1, 2015
Others, however, took a more nuanced view:
— justin kanew (@justin_kanew) March 31, 2015