Wal-Mart's newly installed CEO Michael
T. Duke and his wife allegedly signed an anti-gay petition in
The Massachusetts gay rights group Know
Thy Neighbor has posted the names of over 83,000 signers to an
Arkansas anti-gay adoption and foster care petition that was approved
in November by 57% of voters. It outlaws unmarried couples from
adopting or fostering children – single people, living alone, are
free from the restriction. And while the law bans both gay and
straight couples, it disproportionately impacts gay couples who
cannot legally marry in the state. During the campaign, the law's
sponsoring group, the Family Council Action Committee (FCAC), freely
admitted it was targeting gay couples.
post on the group's website revealed the inclusion of Duke and his
wife, Susan Duke. Details provided on the petition, including Mike
Duke's address and date of birth, appear to be accurate. Duke
ascended to CEO in February 2009.
Wal-Mart, the world's largest public
corporation by revenue, scores low on the Human Rights Campaign's
Corporate Equality Index, a measure of gay and lesbian diversity and
acceptance within a company based on official policies. In 2009,
Wal-Mart scored 40%, while rival Target scored 100%.
“It's an unfortunate trend – for
those of us who hoped Mike Duke might start to lead Wal-Mart in a
different direction,” wrote Eric Bull at WalmartWatch.com,
a blog dedicated to the retail giant's politics.
KnowThyNeighbor.org has posted similar
databases in the past. The group formed in 2005 as a response to a
proposed anti-gay marriage amendment in Massachusetts, and posted the
names and addresses of over 500,000 anti-gay petition signers.
The information listed is a matter of
public record and was provided by the Arkansas Secretary of State's
Disclosure of donors to an anti-gay
marriage campaign in California last year resulted in demonstrations,
boycotts and even job losses.