Walmart and the Walton Family: Not Friends of the LGBT Community (Despite the PR)
Walmart is never one to refuse a customer, so the company has begun to talk more about respect for the LGBT community. Unfortunately, behind the PR, the truth isn’t so rosy.
Walmart and the Waltons Have Supported An Anti-Gay Political Agenda
- Walmart and the Waltons spend millions to impact the political process. Unfortunately, Walmart and the Waltons have given disproportionately to elected officials who are wrong on LGBT-rights, including some who have been outspoken extremists.
- Over the last three election cycles (2009-2014), 37% of the Walmart PAC’s contributions to current members of Congress went to those who received scores of 0 from HRC on their latest Congressional scorecard.
- Over the same time period, 55% of the Waltons’ contributions to current members of Congress went to those with the most abysmal scores (0) from HRC.
- The largest individual recipient of political contributions from the Walton family, Senator John Boozman (R-AR), has received a score of 0 from HRC for every session of Congress since he joined.
- Walmart owner and Walton family member Jim Walton has given repeatedly to Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert. Rapert is a leading crusader against gay marriage in the State and after a state judge ruled Arkansas’ bans on gay marriage unconstitutional, sponsored a resolution accusing the judge of violating his oath and calling for a judicial recall process.
- Former Arkansas Congressman Jay Dickey has also been among the top recipients of campaign contributions from the Waltons. Dickey famously claimed that there were no homosexuals in his district. Dickey told Spy magazine, “You know, we have a whole lot of dirt roads and gravel roads here in Arkansas. And you don’t find a whole lot of tolerance for homosexuals on dirt roads.”
- In 2008, Walmart Board Member and owner Jim Walton gave, $75,000 (55% of the total money given) to support an Arkansas ballot initiative that sought to ban gay couples from adopting. The law passed but was later overturned by the courts.
- At the local level, in Fayetteville, AR (near Walmart’s global headquarters), the City Council passed an anti-LGBT discrimination law in August, 2014. The Chamber of Commerce unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the recall of the a law. The Chamber of Commerce Board includes a Walmart representative and the Ex-Offico Board includes a representative of Arvest Bank, which is owned and run by Walmart owner and Board Member Jim Walton. Sam’s Club and Arvest are also sponsors of the Chamber. 
- In 2013, nearly 300 corporations filed briefs with the Supreme Court in support of same sex marriage. Walmart was conspicuously not among them.
Walmart ranks lower than many of their peers on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.
Walmart ranks 15th out of the 20 largest companies rated in the Human Rights Campaign’s 2015 Corporate Equality Index. Some of Walmart’s major competitors including Costco, Target and Best Buy, by contrast, receive perfect scores.
Walmart fails to provide transgender-inclusive health care benefits
418 companies ranked in HRC’s Corporate Equality Index provide transgender inclusive health insurance. In contrast, Walmart does not include this coverage.
Walmart, Under Criticism, Leaves National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
In 2006, Walmart announced a partnership with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. The partnership reportedly included an agreement “to conduct workshops for gay and lesbian business owners on how to break into the Wal-Mart supplier ranks.”
The company was quickly criticized by the extremist Family Research Council. Seemingly in response to the pressure, Walmart apparently withdrew from the chamber. It issued a statement saying it would no longer contribute to “highly controversial issues, or give preference to gay or lesbian suppliers.”
 Analysis of Political Contribution Data from Center for Responsive Politics, OpenSecrets.org, compared to Congressional scorecard of 113th Congress from Human Rights Campaign.
 http://www.fayettevillear.com/board-of-directors.html Accessed January 26, 2015