Posts Tagged As: BB&T

Franklin Graham clarifies his bank move

Timothy Kincaid

June 12th, 2015

franklin graham

Franklin Graham is in the process of moving the accounts of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association from Wells Fargo Bank to BB&T Bank. He cited Wells Fargo’s commercial showing a lesbian couple learning sign language so as to adopt a little deaf girl.

Several parties have noted that BB&T also is pro-gay and has sponsored some gay pride events. But as I said then,

But sponsoring a pride entry is not the same as running an inclusive commercial on Franklin Graham’s television set. And this makes me curious as to whether BB&T has made assurances to Graham that they will keep their pro-gay visibility solely to gay venues.

BB&T clarified that while they did do sponsorship within the community so as to increase business from gay customers, this should not be interpreted as being supportive of the goals of the gay community. Nor do they advocate in their advertising for “social issues”, such as the existence of same-sex couples who might want to adopt a deaf girl.

Franklin Graham has now further clarified the reason that Wells Fargo is unacceptable, but BB&T is okay. (USAToday)

It is true that a local BB&T branch in the Miami area hosted a fundraiser for a program called Legacy Couples, which recognizes same-sex couples who have been in committed relationships for 10 years or more, but the bank did not promote this program through a national advertising campaign (or we would still be looking for another bank).

I think there is a difference between being friendly and being a public advocate. By staying at Wells Fargo, we would not only be associating with the promotion of a lifestyle we believe to be wrong, we also would actually be helping to pay for the advertisements by virtue of banking with them — because a bank has no money to advertise with other than the money its customers place in its trust and the interest earned on that money. We simply chose not to continue doing business with a bank that is promoting something that violates our conscience and beliefs.

Graham does not state whether BB&T has given him assurances that none of their national advertising will include same-sex couples. But it certainly seems likely.

I’ve not heard back from BB&T as to whether they have made any assurances to Graham.

Will Franklin Graham’s new bank hide gay support? UPDATED

Timothy Kincaid

June 9th, 2015


Yesterday, Franklin Graham announced that he was switching the accounts of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association and the charity Samaritan’s Purse away from Wells Fargo because they “promote sin and stand against Almighty God’s laws and His standards”.

It would be hard to find a bank with a longer and stronger commitment to the LGBT community than Wells Fargo. They were there early and they’ve weathered boycotts and attacks during the years in which the right wing actually had some remaining moral authority. And they have made a concerted effort to make certain that gay people are not just a target market, but part of the broader Wells Fargo family.

Currently Wells Fargo is running a television ad by the bank in which a same-sex couple learns sign language in order to tell a deaf girl that they would be her new mommies. And this ad is not just on gay websites, but in the regular rotation of their media visibility.

It is to this broader visibility that Franklin Graham objects.

Graham has made clear that he does not object to businesses that serve gays and lesbians. (Charlotte Observer)

“There’s lots of businesses out there that do business with gay people,” he said. “That’s fine.”

But he doesn’t want to see same-sex couples on his television. He doesn’t want it “shoved down his throat”.

So it is with interest that we learn the identity of the new bank providing services to the Billy Graham Evangelical Association and Samaritan’s Purse. It turns out to be a North Carolina native, BB&T Bank.

At first glace, it would appear that BB&T also “promotes sin and stands against Almighty God’s laws and His standards”. They do have a history of support for community events.

Several websites are declaring that BB&T is “the sponsor of Miami Beach Gay Pride”. That does not appear to be strictly correct.

They do, however, have an entry in the parade and are “Platinum Sponsors” of the event, the fourth tier of support and likely a significant contribution. BB&T also hosted an event at one of their Miami Beach branches in February which honored long-term same-sex couples. (Herald)

BB&T Bank, in partnership with Miami Beach Gay Pride, will host a fundraising reception to honor the popular “Legacy Couples” program established during the first Miami Beach Gay Pride in 2009 and held every year since. Legacy Couples are featured guests of the Miami Beach Gay Pride parade and are celebrated for their committed relationships of 10 years or longer. Special guests at the event will be Frank Petrole and Marc Rudick, together for 55 years, and Mary Maguire and Jackie Emmett, together for 53 years.

But sponsoring a pride entry is not the same as running an inclusive commercial on Franklin Graham’s television set. And this makes me curious as to whether BB&T has made assurances to Graham that they will keep their pro-gay visibility solely to gay venues.

I have emailed the company to inquire as to whether they made these or any other assurances to Graham.

* – Have there been any assurances provided to Franklin Graham, either in relation to your advertising or any other matters?

* – Does your general (not targeted) advertising strategy include using same-sex couples in the future?

I recognize the value of targeted advertising and appreciate BB&T’s support.

When Wells Fargo began their support for the community, it was narrowly targeted. They did not run gay inclusive advertising in general media. In the 80’s supportive companies didn’t even show gay people in the ads they ran in gay publications.

But while narrowly targeted advertising has its place, it’s no longer the 80’s. And that a bank has joined the long long list of companies that want our business is great, but it’s not enough.

If BB&T has promised Franklin Graham that gay people will remain invisible outside of gay venues, that would concern me. Should that prove to be true, perhaps our community and those who support us can reconsider their banking options. Wells Fargo is but one of many many financial institutions which are happy to include gay people as part of the broad and diverse fabric of everyday life.


In a Charlotte Observer article, BB&T clarified their position on the highly controversial issue of including gay people in advertising just as if they were socially acceptable and equal to everyone else.

BB&T spokeswoman Cynthia Williams said in a statement to the Observer that the bank “has a strong history” of sponsoring community events to help the lender reach prospects and clients. “This does not imply endorsement of these organization’s positions on any or all political or social issues,” she said.

“Our mission is to help our clients achieve economic success and financial security regardless of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. … BB&T embraces diversity and inclusion for our associates and in all aspects of our business. However, we do not take formal positions on non-banking or social issues.”

Translation: we’re happy to have gay customers and will sponsor their little events, but don’t expect us to approve of the filthy homosexuals. And we most certainly will not be showing any nasty gay couples in our advertising. That would be promoting sin and standing against Almighty God’s laws and His standards.

I’m not calling for a boycott. But, for me personally, if I lived in North Carolina there is no way whatsoever that I would bank with BB&T.


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