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Evangelical pastor Franklin Graham transfers millions to gay-friendly bank in failed boycott

Evangelical pastor Franklin Graham transfers millions to gay-friendly bank in failed boycott

US pastor Franklin Graham has transferred millions of dollars to a gay-friendly bank after calling for a boycott of businesses that ‘promote sin’ by advertising to LGBTI people.

Over the weekend, the president of his father’s Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) called on Christians to ‘fight the tide of moral decay that is being crammed down our throats by big business, the media, and the gay and lesbian community.’

In a Facebook post, he singled out Tiffany & Co and Wells Fargo for featuring same-sex couples in their advertisements.

‘This is one way we as Christians can speak out – we have the power of choice,’ he told the more than 1.6 million people who like his page.

‘Let’s just stop doing business with those who promote sin and stand against almighty God’s laws.’

Graham announced that the BGEA, which in 2014 received contributions and other income totaling $107.7 million, would move its accounts from Wells Fargo to another bank.

He revealed on Tuesday (9 June) that that bank was North Carolina-based BB&T – sponsors of this year’s Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade.

The bank also hosted a Miami fundraiser for gay ‘legacy couples’ and was awarded a ‘high’ rating in the Human Rights Campaign’s 2015 Corporate Equality Index.

Graham explained his decision in a statement: ‘The decision to move the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s banking business away from Wells Fargo is based on the bank using corporate advertising to promote lifestyles that are counter to what God’s Word teaches.

‘This is not about a business being gay friendly, it’s about whether the business is using stockholder’s money to promote a lifestyle that is not biblical.’

It is not clear if he knew about BT&T’s sponsorships before making the transfer and he declined to comment on whether he would remain with the bank.

Graham is also CEO of evangelical humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse, which last year had revenues of $461 million.