Franklin Graham’s effort to blacklist LGBT-friendly companies is a quixotic idea (COMMENTARY)

e Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse are looking for neutral banks. I wouldn’t suggest Chase, Citigroup or Bank of America -- all of which scored 100 percent in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.

Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, addresses the crowd at the Festival of Hope, an evangelistic rally held at the national stadium in Port-au-Prince, on January 9, 2011. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Allison Shelley *Editors: This photo may only be used with RNS-FRANKLIN-GRAHAM, originally transmitted on May 20, 2015 or with RNS-CRUZ-COLUMN, originally transmitted on June 9, 2015.

Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, addresses the crowd at the Festival of Hope, an evangelistic rally held at Haiti’s national stadium in Port-au-Prince, on Jan. 9, 2011. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Allison Shelley
*Editors: This photo may only be used with RNS-FRANKLIN-GRAHAM, originally transmitted on May 20, 2015 or with RNS-CRUZ-COLUMN, originally transmitted on June 9, 2015.

(RNS) Franklin Graham had a revelation.

On Friday (June 5), Graham said it had “dawned” on him how to “fight the tide of moral decay that is being crammed down our throats by big business, the media, and the gay & lesbian community.”

His solution: Stop doing business with LGBT-friendly companies.

“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,” Franklin wrote on his Facebook page.

Beginning this week, the son of Billy Graham vowed: “Let’s just stop doing business with those who promote sin and stand against Almighty God’s laws and His standards. Maybe if enough of us do this, it will get their attention.”

Indeed, if Christians were to divert their dollars away from all companies that support LGBT equality it would certainly get some attention. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.

The irony of Graham’s posting this on Facebook is apparently lost on him. Facebook is vehemently pro-LGBT and Graham’s post, which has been shared 42,000 times, creates revenue for the social media platform.

Still, he’s putting his money where his mouth is. On Twitter, he announced he’s moving all the bank accounts for his two ministries out of Wells Fargo because of its ad featuring a lesbian couple.

I support Graham’s decision to withdraw his support for pro-LGBT companies. It’s an important part of the free market for individuals to boycott organizations that do not align with their beliefs.

I support him enough to want to help him out. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, the ministries Graham runs, are looking for neutral banks. I wouldn’t suggest Chase, Citigroup or Bank of America — all of which scored 100 percent in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.

The Corporate Equality Index is measured by an organization’s inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in its nondiscrimination policies, domestic partner health benefits, transgender benefits, organizational competency practices and public commitments to the LGBT community.

So far in 2015, 14 of the Top 20 Fortune-ranked companies received 100 percent ratings by HRC, including Apple (throw out those iPhones!), AT&T (switch to Verizon?), Verizon Communications (or don’t) and Hewlett-Packard, to name a few.

Other pro-LGBT companies include:

  1. Target
  2. Starbucks
  3. Levi’s
  4. Microsoft
  5. Amazon
  6. Ford
  7. Home Depot
  8. Expedia
  9. Pepsi
  10. Procter & Gamble
  11. Gap
  12. Oreo
  13. Macy’s
  14. Old Navy
  15. Banana Republic
  16. General Mills
  17. J.C. Penney
  18. Walgreens
  19. Nike
  20. Ben & Jerry’s
  21. Google
  22. eBay
  23. Orbitz
  24. Jet Blue
  25. MasterCard
  26. Johnson & Johnson
  27. Goldman Sachs
  28. Cisco
  29. Marriott
  30. UBS

Those are just a few, and according to HRC’s report. Every year, more organizations get closer to that 100 percent rating.

Eliel Cruz is a contributor on religion, (bi)sexuality, media and culture at The Advocate, Mic and Religion News Service. Photo courtesy of Eliel Cruz

Eliel Cruz is a contributor on religion, (bi)sexuality, media and culture at The Advocate, Mic and Religion News Service. Photo courtesy of Eliel Cruz

If Graham is looking for national companies that have a zero rating, that’s going to be close to impossible. For companies that oppose LGBT equality, he’ll have to look at mom-and-pop shops in the 33 states that currently allow discrimination on the basis of sexual and gender identity.

Soon, Graham might have to stash his cash under his mattress, send smoke signals and grow his own food.

(Eliel Cruz is a contributor on religion, (bi)sexuality, media and culture at The Advocate, Mic and Religion News Service.)

YS/MG END CRUZ