- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Retail giant Wal-Mart says Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson should veto a religious-objection bill that critics say would open the door to widespread discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Wal-Mart Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said in a statement Tuesday the bill prohibiting state and local government from infringing on someone’s religious beliefs without a “compelling” interest threatens the state’s spirt of inclusion and the Bentonville-based company’s values.

Lawmakers earlier Tuesday gave final approval to the measure. Hutchinson, a Republican, has said he plans to sign it into law.

Wal-Mart had previously criticized the measure, saying it sent the wrong message about its home state. The bill and a similar measure recently enacted in Indiana are facing a growing backlash from businesses and gay-rights advocates.

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