Wells Fargo ad with same-sex couple prompts boycott by famed evangelist's son

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- A national television ad for Wells Fargo showing a same-sex couple has prompted a call for a boycott by the son of evangelist Billy Graham, who refers to it in a Facebook posting with the question "How can we fight the tide of moral decay?"

Franklin Graham says Christians should realize they don't have to do business with companies that do not reflect their values.

"At the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, we are moving our accounts from Wells Fargo to another bank," Graham's posting says. "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. Share this if you agree."

The national television commercial starts with two women learning sign language and it builds up to the end of the ad when they meet a young girl and introduce themselves as her "two mommies."

"I think the tide has definitely turned. I think that not only here in a place in San Francisco but everywhere in the country we see people really understanding that LGBT people live everywhere, that we deserve the same dignity and respect," says Rebecca Rolfe, San Francisco LGBT Center's Executive Director. 

Rolfe called the tv ad a brave move by the San Francisco-based bank.

It is Wells Fargo's first national ad to include a same-sex couple in the company's history spanning more than 160 years. The company has been a prominent supporter of San Francisco's gay pride parade and other LGBT community events, according to Rolfe.

A Wells Fargo spokesperson Valerie Williams said the ad was launched in April. It's one of six commercials in a national campaign to showcase the bank's diversity of clients.

A Wells Fargo spokesman in San Francisco, Ruben Pulido responded with a statement:

"At Wells Fargo, serving every customer is core to our Vision and Values. Diversity and Inclusion is foundational to who we are as a company, and part of our Vision & Values. Wells Fargo's support for the LGBT community aligns with our broader commitment to diversity -to serve diverse customers, to hire, develop and retain diverse team members and to encourage team members to value and respect each other for their differences. Our advertising content reflects our company's values, and represents the diversity of the communities we serve."

Graham's denouncement of the ad comes as the nation debates the issue and awaits a U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage late this month.

Graham's Facebook posting received more than 90,000 "likes" and prompted comments by some who said they too would close their Wells Fargo accounts.

Still, some say the trend is going in favor of LGBT rights.

"I think we've seen across the country that there are many, many corporations who are really stepping out in support of what they know to be values of equity and equality and fairness and Wells Fargo has been a part of that," Rolfe said.

KTVU called Graham's public relations firm, but were told that Graham was unavailable to comment.

Wells Fargo says it plans to continue running the ads on the original schedule.