Fact Check

WalMart Puts Christian Employees on 'Watch List'?

Rumor: WalMart has put all their Christian employees on a 'watch list' for the reporting of anti-gay behavior.

Published Apr 7, 2015

Claim:   WalMart has put all their Christian employees on a 'watch list' for the reporting of anti-gay behavior.


Example:   [Collected via Twitter, April 2015]

If Christians #boycott and not shop at @walmart it can create a large loss in revenue @AmericanFamAssc @AsaHutchinson lets be heard!

I'm done with #Walmart and their attack on #ReligiousFreedom Finally hit that breaking point.


Origins:   On 6 April 2015, the American Family Association blog The Stand featured an article by Randy Sharp titled "Walmart Puts Christian Employees on 'Watch List," holding that every employee of that giant retailer must express approval of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, lest they be reported by "gay spies" within the company and suspended or dismissed from their jobs:

Apparently, homosexual activists and their friends have taken influential control of Walmart's Human Resources and Public Relations departments. Nothing less than full support of the gay brand of "diversity" — and only their brand — will be tolerated.

Walmart Pride has prejudiced the workplace of Walmart to the point that anyone who shares a biblical viewpoint of marriage anywhere or anytime will be instantly branded as "anti-gay" and "intolerant." The gay employees will report them.

Corporate history tells us every single Walmart employee in a leadership position is now on notice that their job is at stake. In every communication, public or private, they must endorse the company line approving homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Any other viewpoint will be met with immediate suspension or dismissal. The gay spies inside the company will see to it.

In Sunday School classes, Walmart's salaried employees will be intimidated into silence on their personal view of marriage as between one man and one woman. On their personal Facebook page, they must remain absolutely silent. The gay community will report them.

But the following day that article had been scrubbed from the AFA's web site, no mention of it was visible on the group's Facebook or Twitter pages, and a listing of articles authored by Randy Sharp elided the piece in question. The AFA has not responded to our inquiry about the reasons for the article's removal, but the obvious implication is that the article was found to be in error and/or the AFA was contacted by WalMart and warned of the consequences of publishing

defamatory material.

Although the article's headline stated that WalMart was implementing a "watch list" for Christian employees, implying that some institutionalized procedure had been put in place for reporting their alleged misdeeds to management, what the article actually described was some nebulous undertaking in which every utterance and writing of Christian employees, public and private, would somehow be monitored by "gay spies" and "gay employees" within the company and reported to management. Left unexplained was how WalMart would be able to unfailingly identify which of their employees were Christian, why only Christians would be targeted by the supposed policy, and how the company could ensure that Christian employees were never (even in their private lives) away from the watchful eyes of corporate "gay spies."

Given the article's lack of documentation backing up the claims made by its author, the article's quick removal from the AFA site, and the fact that the writer's only other published AFA piece is one that decries political opposition to state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (opposition which WalMart just engaged in by asking Arkansas' governor to veto a similar RFRA bill in that state), it appears that the original piece was an expression of the author's disagreement with WalMart's political stance on the RFRA issue rather than a reporting of fact.

In response to our inquiry, a Senior Director of Communications with WalMart told us that "there is no merit to the article, and there is no such 'watch list' in any way, shape or form."

Last updated:   7 April 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

Article Tags