IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Franklin Graham's anti-gay gambit goes horribly awry

Evangelical pastor Franklin Graham had a bold idea: he'd punish his bank for running an ad with lesbians by moving his money elsewhere. His plain failed badly.
Franklin Graham appears on NBC News' \"Today\" show. (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/Getty)
Franklin Graham appears on NBC News' \"Today\" show.
MSNBC's Jane C. Timm reported yesterday on Graham's new financial boycott.

Rev. Franklin Graham is calling for a boycott of gay-friendly businesses, beginning by pulling his ministry's accounts from Wells Fargo after the bank ran an ad featuring a gay couple. Graham, son of the famed evangelical pastor Billy Graham, runs the church his father started, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which had net assets of $295 million in 2014, according to the most recent data available on the ministry's website.

Apparently, what set Graham off was this lovely ad, released by Wells Fargo in April. For those who can't watch clips online, the minute-long commercial shows a lesbian couple learning sign-language before meeting a young deaf girl they're adopting.
Where Graham sees "moral decay," some of us see perhaps the sweetest banking commercial of all time.
"It has dawned on me that we don't have to do business with them," Graham wrote in a Facebook post, referring to Wells Fargo. "At the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, we are moving our accounts from Wells Fargo to another bank.... This is one way we as Christians can speak out -- we have the power of choice."
That's largely true. If Graham is outraged by a commercial showing a loving couple adopting a deaf child, he's certainly free to do his banking elsewhere. It's a free country.
But the punch-line to this story came a little later, when we learned about Graham's new bank.
Right Wing Watch explained that the evangelical pastor is moving his ministry's accounts to BB&T, another North Carolina-based bank. Oops.

Graham may not have done much research, as BB&T has received an 80 percent score in the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index and this year is the sponsor of the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade, along with the chief sponsor of Miami Beach Gay Pride's "Legacy Couples" program, which celebrates same-sex couples in "committed relationships of 10 years or longer." A bank spokesman said the company hopes to "support the individuals and organizations that broaden our perspectives and strengthen the diverse fabric of our communities. That's why BB&T is proud to be a part of this day of pride and celebration of the 2015 Legacy Couples." In fact, BB&T hosted a same-sex couple's wedding reception earlier this year "in a makeshift chapel at event sponsor BB&T Bank South Beach branch."

Yep, the right-wing pastor is "fighting the tide of moral decay" by moving his considerable assets from one morally depraved financial institution to an entirely different morally depraved financial institution.