Why Walmart Fought for LGBT Rights

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Wal-Mart's CEO Doug McMillon said Arkansas' "Religious Freedom" bill "undermines the spirit of inclusion present throughout the state."

When social controversy strikes, good business sense says companies should sit in nonpartisan silence. Customers could fall on either side of a debate.

But this week, just as Indiana passed a "Religious Freedom" law and Arkansas considering passing a similar law, a tidal wave of strong denouncements from Fortune 500 CEOs — from Apple's Tim Cook to Wal-Mart's Doug McMillon — was almost immediate. In their view, the laws would let businesses refuse service to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender customers. Marriott's CEO Arne Sorenson went as far as to call Indiana's move "an idiocy." 

Money Talking host Charlie Herman asks why corporations would suddenly feel the need to speak out, and guests Cardiff Garcia of the Financial Times and Heather Landy of Quartz suggest the outpouring of CEO opinion could mean the role of American business in social politics is shifting.