Metro Weekly

Franklin Graham’s new bank is sponsoring gay pride event

Evangelist's new bank also appears to support LGBT rights

Franklin GrahamFranklin Graham just can’t win. 

A few days ago, the controversial evangelist announced in a Facebook post that he would be moving his organization’s accounts from Wells Fargo after the company aired a commercial featuring a lesbian couple. Now, it seems his new bank is similarly looking for a slice of the LGBT market. 

Graham, the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, called on Christians to avoid doing business with other companies that support LGBT rights, including jewelry giant Tiffany & Co., Starbucks and Nike.

In an interview with Craig James of the Family Research Council (FRC) on its “Washington Watch” program, Graham said he was switching to BB&T. But, as it turns out, BB&T has embraced LGBT equality. The company received a score of 80 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which measures the LGBT-friendly quotient of companies. BB&T is also sponsoring the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade, as well as hosting a fundraising reception  for Miami Beach Gay Pride’s “Legacy Couples” program, which honors couples in committed relationships of 10 years or longer. Earlier this year, the bank hosted a gay male couple’s wedding reception at its South Beach branch in Miami.

Justin Nelson, president of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, noted in a statement that it could be difficult for Graham to find a financial institution willing to endorse his views on LGBT equality, as such an institution would be swimming upstream, against the trend toward inclusion.

“Almost every major financial institution, along with most Fortune 500 companies, are on the path toward inclusive LGBT policies,” said Nelson. “Franklin Graham’s decision is wrongheaded, especially when we see so many corporations joining Wells Fargo in wanting to ensure every family, including LGBT families, has equal opportunities to succeed.”

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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