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Anti-Gay Group Dumps Bank


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Anti-Gay Group Dumps Bank

by The Associated Press

Posted: December 3, 2005 4:00 pm ET

(Denver, Colorado) Focus on the Family, the conservative Christian group based in Colorado Springs, is withdrawing funds from Wells Fargo because of its alleged involvement in pro-gay causes.

"Focus on the Family has elected to end its banking relationship with Wells Fargo, motivated primarily by the bank's ongoing efforts to advance the radical homosexual agenda. These efforts are in direct opposition to the underlying principles and purpose of Focus, and thus a decision of conscience had to be made, and a stand taken," said a statement Saturday on the Focus Web site.

The group did not return a call seeking comment.

The Rocky Mountain News reports that the Wells Fargo logo was used in an Internet fund-raising campaign for a "fight against the 'anti-gay industry' - a group that pro-gay organizations have stated includes Focus on the Family."

Wells Fargo & Co. is the fifth largest U.S. bank by assets

Chris Hammond a vice president of business development for Wells Fargo, said the bank agreed to match contributions to a media campaign fund for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, but had not authorized its logo to be used for the Internet fund-raising campaign and did not approve of it. Glennda Testone, spokeswoman for the Gay alliance, did not return a call Saturday seeking comment.

"We simply made a grant to one of many nonprofits Wells Fargo supports in the San Francisco Bay Area," Hammond said. He said he told Focus officials that the bank contributes to many charities, "including nonprofit agencies Focus on the Family believes in."

Focus replied by broadening its criticism, said the News. The group said a Gay Pride Festival event in San Francisco, called 'Leather Alley," had been staged in the parking lot of a Wells Fargo branch.

Focus said Wells Fargo's Web site says the bank has donated more than $14 million to pro-gay organizations in the last two decades.

A bank statement on its Web site said, "We direct our giving to areas that we believe are important to the future of our nation's vitality and success: community development, education and human services."

Wells Fargo is a target for gay groups, and is one of 49 of the Top 50 Fortune 500 companies that "have adopted pro-gay policies. Looking at the entire list, 85 percent of the Top 500 companies have done so," said Focus CEO Jim Daly.

©365Gay.com 2005


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