News

SunTrust Bank Cuts Ties with Benham Brothers

SunTrust has severed ties and pulled all of its listed properties with the brothers’ bank-owned property business, the Benham Real Estate Group.

Last week HGTV announced that the network “decided not to move forward” with the reality show “Flip It Forward” starring twin brothers David and Jason Benham because of their faith-driven pro-life and traditional marriage beliefs. The brothers dealt with the unfair loss with grace, saying if their faith cost them a TV show then “so be it.”

Now the brothers are dealing with another unexpected loss – this time from SunTrust Bank. The Atlanta-based company has severed ties and pulled all of its listed properties with the brothers’ bank-owned property business, the Benham Real Estate Group.

2nd Vote contacted SunTrust for an explanation and received the following response:

“SunTrust supports the rights of all Americans to fully exercise their freedoms granted under the Constitution, including those with respect to free speech and freedom of religion. Mid-2013, we consolidated the management of certain residential assets with a third party vendor, which has the relationship with Benham Real Estate. While we do not publicly comment on specific vendor relationships, we don’t make choices on suppliers nor base business decisions on political factors, nor do we direct our third party vendors to do so. The characterization in the media with respect to this matter is inaccurate. We are contacting our third party supplier who works with Benham Real Estate to clarify our policies.”

While SunTrust says the characterization in the media is inaccurate, the timing is certainly suspect and reasonable observers could conclude that it is connected to the HGTV controversy.

2nd Vote is working to shed light on the issue-based activity of the companies you shop with every day, and you can view SunTrust’s 2nd Vote Scores below.

SunTrust 2nd Vote Score:

Marriage – 1

SunTrust was a Platinum Partner of the Human Rights Campaign’s 2014 Atlanta Dinner Gala & Auction. Platinum sponsorship requires a $17,000 contribution. SunTrust has received a 100 score on the Human Rights Campaign’s “Buyers Guide.”

Pro-Life – 2

The SunTrust Foundation has given to Girls Inc., an organization that supports abortion. Girls Inc. has also partnered with Planned Parenthood. The SunTrust Foundation has given to March of Dimes, which has funded Planned Parenthood. The SunTrust Foundation has given significantly to United Way, which has funded Planned Parenthood programs. However, the SunTrust Foundation has also contributed to The Salvation Army and Catholic Charities, both pro-life organizations.

Environment – 3

SunTrust has remained neutral on environment issues.

2nd Amendment – 2

The SunTrust Foundation has given to Urban League, a member of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, an anti-NRA organization. According to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, “The insurrectionist ideology promoted by the NRA and other pro-gun groups is corrosive to the democratic values and institutions that protect the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.”

If you would like to call SunTrust and express your views on this issue, the contact information is below.

SunTrust Bank Contact Info:
Phone: (404) 588-7711

The Chairman and CEO of SunTrust Banks is William H. Rogers Jr.

UPDATE:
SunTrust Bank has reversed its decision to sever real estate contracts with the Benham brothers.