First the Benham brothers lost their HGTV reality show. Now the twins may also be losing their business.
According to the Daily Caller, SunTrust Banks is severing ties with the Liberty University graduates, who were recently targeted by Right Wing Watch as anti-gay, anti-choice extremists. The Benham brothers confirmed on Friday that the banking giant pulled all of its properties listed in its database.
"We were caught off-guard with this one," David Benham said of SunTrust's actions. "Keeping us off television wasn't enough, now this agenda to silence wants us out of the marketplace."
The brothers said the news came "without warning or explanation from SunTrust and took place over a 15-minute period" on Thursday and that up until now they had had a "mutually productive working relationship with SunTrust for many years" and even held "preferred broker" status with SunTrust.
SunTrust could not immediately be reached for comment. But Faith Driven Consumer founder Chris Stone says SunTrust Banks appears to have punished David and Jason Benham by taking action against their business purely based on their Christian beliefs.
As he sees it, this sends a loud and clear message to people of faith in America: You're not welcome at SunTrust—take your business somewhere else.
"SunTrust's actions have effectively put into place a belief-oriented litmus test for its business partners seeking to compete in the marketplace of goods, services and ideas. This is discriminatory, intolerant and in direct opposition [to] everything that America is about," Stone says.
"Faith Driven Consumers, and all fair-minded Americans, are getting tired of this," Stone continues. "They know it's wrong, and they are not going to tolerate this kind of bullying. On behalf of our community of 46 million people who spend $1.75 trillion annually, we are actively seeking banks who will welcome [the Benhams] along with all of the other people that they serve."