Update: Wells Fargo has dropped their affiliation with the Christian Values Network. Learn more...


Another interesting press release from the inbox (portion re: Wells Fargo highlighted in dark red)…


New petition asks Apple to follow Microsoft’s lead in reaction to Stuart Wilber’s petition asking software company to stop funding — through CVN — anti-gay hate groups like “Focus on the Family”

SEATTLE, WA – In a matter of hours, Microsoft decided on Thursday to remove its online store from the “Christian Values Network” after more than 500 people signed Stuart Wilber’s Change.org petition asking the software company to stop allowing the funding of anti-gay “hate groups” identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“Microsoft’s swift reaction to my Change.org petition demonstrates their strong support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities,” said Wilber, a Microsoft customer and resident of Seattle. “Microsoft has a long tradition of being supportive of our community. I assumed they would be just as upset as I was that their brand was being used by anti-gay hate groups to raise money. I’m glad I was right.”

Stephen Baldwin and Michael Lohan helped launch the Christian Values Network, an online service that raises money for various religious groups from the purchase of goods and services. More than 600 companies are listed at www.cvn.org, the Christian Value Network’s domain that hosts links to various corporate online stores. Among the groups using the Christian Values Network to raise money are Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, Summit Ministries, Abiding Truth Ministries, and the Liberty Counsel. Each organization has been identified as an anti-gay “hate group” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Dozens of major companies like Netflix, Target, Best Buy, REI, Delta, and even Sesame Street participate in CVN’s service. When customers make purchases through CVN, a donation is made to the charity of the customer’s choice. For example, Wells Fargo gives up to $300 per loan made through CVN and 2.5% of the purchase price for products bought through Apple iTunes store can be donated to groups like “Focus on the Family.”

“I wonder if Apple is even aware they are being used to raise money for these homophobic groups,” said Ben Crowther, a Washington State University Student who started a new petition on Change.org asking Apple to remove their store from the Christian Values Network. “It is so out of character for Apple to be associated with groups like Focus on the Family. I hope Apple acts quickly to remove their store from the Christian Values Network.”

“No respectful company or organization should do business with CVN as long as it helps fund these anti-gay organizations,” said Wilber. “Focus on the Family and other groups like it knowingly spread lies with deadly consequences for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”

Stephen Baldwin and Michael Lohan, Lindsay Lohan’s father, worked together to help launch the Christian Values Network. Both Baldwin and Lohan are outspoken about their anti-gay views. Stephen Baldwin told the Guardian in 2010 that he supports so called “ex-gay” therapy, a harmful practice that falsely claims to “cure” people of their sexual orientation.

Michael Lohan told reporters in 2008 he would not walk his daughter, Lindsay Lohan, down the aisle if she chose to marry her same-sex partner, “I don’t think she’d ask me to walk her down the aisle,” says Michael. “She knows about my (Christian) faith …  she just wouldn’t ask.”

Former Governor of Arkansas and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is a Christian Values Network advisor and spokesperson. In the past, Huckabee has equated being gay with bestiality, necrophilia, and pedophilia.

Microsoft is a leader in the corporate world for their internal and external policies to both protect their LGBT employees, and to advocate for better laws to protect all LGBT people under the law. Recently, Microsoft publicly endorsed the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), a law that would allow gays and lesbians to sponsor their loved ones for American citizenship, just like married heterosexual couples. During Washington’s Referendum 71 campaign, Microsoft contributed $100,000 to help protect the right of lesbian and gay families to a domestic partnership.

View Stuart Wilber’s petition asking Microsoft to remove their store from the Christian Values Network:

View Ben Crowther’s petition asking Apple to remove their store from the Christian Values Network (with live signature totals):

Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 300,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.


12 replies on “Why is Wachovia/Wells Fargo donating cash to anti-gay hate groups?”

  1. I have to say I think the headline to this article is just poor journalism! It’s nothing if not meant to get website hits. It doesn’t line up with the rest of the article at all. Your staff took a wire store and made it fit wells fargo. Did you do any research with the company before publishing this? Did you take the time to list all of the good things Wells/wachovia have done for LGBT community? No you copy and pasted another article and made it loosly fit an attention grabbing headline! Very dissapointed. I think this article should be removed until you have done your research. Also think about the damage this could do to one of the strongest corporate supporters we have!

  2. I just took a look at the site, and yes Wells Fargo is donating money to Focus on the Family through CVN

  3. I agree with the first comment. Did anyone contact Wells\Wachovia first and allow them to reply or reasearch this? Wells\Wachvoia have been HUGE supporters of the GLBT community. Give the a chance to work on the issue or reply prior to dragging them thru the mud.

  4. re: “Bad Journalism” and “Doug” — We were simply sharing a press release, as we clearly noted, in our blog section which is intended for “bits-n-pieces around the ‘net.” Clearly, this wasn’t intended as an authentic news article; if it had been, it would have been labeled as such. There’s no harm in sharing press releases with the public is there?

    Matt Comer

    P.S. — Change.org is a trusted and verified source of information on all sorts of progressive issues. I do not doubt at all the veracity of their claims and, yes, Wells Fargo is, indeed, participating in the CVN program funneling cash to anti-gay hate groups: http://www.cvn.org/category/?cvar=72

  5. Mr. Comer

    As a former member of the press I am shocked to see the title editor attached to your argument. While i do agree it is posted in your blog section and there is a small and I do mean small mention that it is a release. Most people outside of the regular news hounds don’t know what that means or pay it any attention. My point was should you (i’m assuming you posted this sorry if i am incorrect) have not also made the earnest effort to have at least noted the positive things they have done for our community? Did you ask them if they knew where this money was going? You might have been surprised to have found out they may not have known. Even further if you had contacted a spokesperson at Wells they may have looked into the relationship with this company and stopped it. But since you did not do any of that you didn’t give them the chance to respond? How fair is that. It’s not at all, how about in the future you give supports of our community the benefit of being able to respond to things like this? Obviously the company is a supporter of our cause and not against us, so don’t be so hard on them for doing 1 thing wrong.

    P.S. Change.org should not be a trusted and verified source of information I have seen some things just as far off base from them as this CVN is on the right.

    Come on just be fair to people There is no company out there that is perfect but it really bothers me to see an article like this ready to turn on some of the very few companies out there that are setting a good example. I’m very disappointed.

  6. P.S.S After reading more about CVN I am even more confused because at no point does the company involved actually choose the money to donate… The CUSTOMER does. And as much as we might not like it they have the right to choose where to donate money to just like we do. At no time does Wells Fargo, Apple or anyone else say hey why don’t you donate money to these anti gay groups! Which makes the whole title of this article “Why is Wachovia/Wells Fargo donating cash to anti-gay hate groups?” FALSE The customer donates the money, these company simply send the payment for them!

  7. re: Bad Journalism…

    Thanks for sharing your views with us. We appreciate them. As always, our comment sections are open to public discussion and conversation.

    Matt Comer

  8. This turns out to be true regarding wells fargo and i am shocked. As a gay multimillionaire at wells here is the letter i sent them. Where change.org may fail, a millionaire’s threat will be heard – you can count on that!

    I have learned that Wachovia Wells Fargo is a supporting member business of Steven Baldwin’s Christian Values Network website which offers loans/services/donations to all of America’s leading homophobic anti gay organizations like The Focus on the Family. These hate groups have made it their mission to actively petition government for the removal of gay/lesbian rights on the constitutional level based on lies, distortions and fear despite solid evidence against their positions. 

    As I am about to bring another few million dollars into the Wells Fargo company I would like to know why I, as a gay and legally married man should bother investing MY MONEY with a company ACTIVELY paying for my extermination – legally or otherwise?

    I will await your response to justify your institutionalized bigotry against me for two weeks. If you have not defended your position to my liking I will once again be forced to remove my millions from your company. 

    The ball is in your court.  

  9. Wow, Wells Fargo joins Best Buy in supporting “Christian” or anti-gay causes but yet they continue to support gay organizations as well.

    Maybe businesses these days are trying to appeal to everyone?

    Frankly, I think the gay community can be very intolerant of other people’s ideas and I sometimes am ashamed to identify with such an intolerant group of people.

  10. Wellsfargo, just like target…just because they support gay events and have open policies is just a cloak device for their support against our community. You either SUPPORT us or you don’t.

  11. For the person who is going to take his millions and go elsewhere, where would that be? I’m unaware of someplace more supportive. Please inform me of where that would be and I will gladly support them as well.

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