Walmart has taken their stand toward the governor of Arkansas regarding the religious freedom bill

Everyone from Apple CEO Tim Cook to the head of the NCAA slammed religious freedom laws being considered in several states this week, warning that they would open the door to discrimination against gay and lesbian customers. Now Walmart, which employs more than 50,000 people in Arkansas have made their footprint on the religious freedom bill, which many found shocking to some. Hours after the company’s CEO, Doug McMillon, called on Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson to veto the bill, the governor held a news conference and announced he would not sign the legislation unless its language was fixed.

For many years, many saw Walmart as “republication dominate” based on their actions. In 2004, they gave around $2 million to Republicans versus less than $500,000 to Democrats. But the change in 2014 when PAC spent about $1.3 million to support Republican and around $970,000 for Democrats, showed the nation that maybe this change will be forever consistent and not because they were in the hot waters to the public. Retail experts say Walmart’s evolution on these issues over the years are due to partly the reflection of its diverse consumer base. They also had a recognition of the country’s increasingly progressive views of gay equality.

Dwight Hill, a partner at the retail consulting firm McMillanDoolittle had his own opinion on the matter.

It’s easy for someone like a Chick-fil-A to take a really polarizing position but in the world of the largest retailer in the world, that’s very different. Same-sex marriage, while divisive, it’s becoming more common place here within the U.S, and the businesses by definition have to follow the trend of their customer.”

-Bri Christian (@brirezy)