Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson says his state's image was helped by how it dealt with a “religious freedom” bill which critics argued could be used to refuse service to gay men and lesbians.

The bill, HB 1228, sought to prohibit any state and local laws that “burden” a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs without a “compelling” interest and defined “person” to include a company or association.

Hutchinson had previously said that he would sign the bill. But that was before passage of a similar measure in Indiana attracted nationwide attention, forcing Republican Governor Mike Pence to ask for a “fix,” and Arkansas-based Walmart, the world's largest retailer, weighed in against the bill.

Hutchinson asked lawmakers to narrow the bill's scope, addressing only actions by the government, not by businesses or individuals. He signed the revised bill on Thursday.

(Related: Indiana, Arkansas governors sign revised “religious freedom” bills.)

“I think it enhanced religious freedom in this state,” Hutchinson said during a television appearance. “I think it showed that we want to be balanced and recognize the diversity of the workforce and American culture. I think our standing really in how we handled this really made us look good on the world stage.”

LGBT rights advocates have called on Hutchinson to sign an executive order banning workplace discrimination by state agencies on the basis of sexual orientation. When asked whether he would pursue such an order, Hutchinson answered that he would not.