LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — American evangelist Franklin Graham has pulled his ministry’s bank accounts out of Wells Fargo after taking to social media to call for a boycott of the bank and other gay-friendly companies.
As of Monday afternoon, Graham’s message posted June 5 calling for Christians to “stop doing business with those who promote sin and stand against Almighty God’s laws and His standards” had over 92,000 “Likes” and nearly 9,700 comments.
Graham specifically names Wells Fargo and Tiffany’s as two companies who he believes are leading a “tide of moral decay that is being crammed down our throats by big business, the media, and the gay & lesbian community.”
The message reads in part: “Every day it is something else! Tiffany’s started advertising wedding rings for gay couples. Wells Fargo bank is using a same-sex couple in their advertising. And there are more. But it has dawned on me that we don’t have to do business with them.”
A message on Graham’s Twitter account confirmed that he was moving all bank accounts linked to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association from Wells Fargo to another bank. It wasn’t immediately known to which institution Graham transferred the funds.
Graham’s remarks were an apparent reference to a national Wells Fargo ad rolled out in April that features a same-sex couple making plans to adopt a deaf girl.
Wells Fargo responded to the move with a statement that read in part: “Our advertising content reflects our company’s values and represents the diversity of the communities we serve.”
Local Christian radio talk show host Rev. Jesse Peterson told CBS2/KCAL9’s Randy Paige he supports the move.
“We’re not going to tolerate a behavior that we all know is wrong, is bad,” said Peterson. “Children need love, but they need the love of a father and mother.”
But when marriage rights advocate Tom Watson sees the ad, he says he sees something totally different.
“It’s a very touching ad that’s as much about disability and about what good parents should do as it is about the fact that, what is rather a very unremarkable fact that it’s two mommies versus a mommy and a daddy,” Watson said.
The “Will You?” campaign from Tiffany’s, which launched in January, featured seven different couples, including a same-sex couple, who have just popped the question.
In addition to overseeing BGEA, Graham runs a missionary relief organization called Samaritan’s Purse, which takes medical supplies, food and other help to more than 100 countries.