(NBC Bay Area)
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s president and CEO announced that his organization has pulled his ministry’s bank accounts out of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo over the bank’s recent ad featuring a lesbian couple adopting a deaf baby.
Franklin Graham took to social media to call for a boycott of the bank and other gay-friendly companies. On Friday, he posted on Facebook that he was moving all the group’s accounts out of Wells Fargo, and into another bank because of all the “moral decay” that is being “crammed down our throats.”
He also took aim at Tiffany’s, which has started advertising wedding rings for gay couples. And he urged Christians to boycott companies that promote homosexuality.
“This is one way we as Christians can speak out—we have the power of choice,” he wrote. “Let’s just stop doing business with those who promote sin and stand against Almighty God’s laws and His standards.” He asked people to share his message if they agreed. As of Tuesday morning, the post had nearly 43,000 shares and 95,000 likes.
For its part, Wells Fargo is standing by its commercial, which liberal sites, like Huffington Post, deemed “heartwarming.” According to CNN Money, this ad made Wells Fargo the first American bank to showcase a homosexual relationship in a national campaign. Since it was published on YouTube on April 23, the video has been watched more than 1 million times, and countless people have seen it on TV.
There are no plans to kill the ad, or alter it in any way. In fact, most people like it, according to the bank.
“The coverage to date has been overwhelmingly positive,” Valerie Williams, a Wells Fargo vice president and communications consultant told CNBC. “It exceeded our expectations. We weren’t naïve in terms of what to anticipate in terms of response.”
Rebecca Rolfe, executive director of the San Francisco LGBT Center, wasn’t at all worried by the boycott. In fact, she called the move “desperate,” proof that the same-sex movement is winning over the “hearts and minds” of the public, as well as gaining ground in political polls and the courts.
“I just see this as a last ditch effort to stir up a campaign of hate,” she told NBC Bay Area. “I think the ad is great. Wells Fargo really understands its diverse customer base. The ad is a warm representation of family.”