If this doesn't stop, soon conservatives won't be able to do anything.

Exclusive: SunTrust Cuts Business Ties With Benham Brothers After Conservative Views Attacked

First they lost their television show. Now the Benham brothers say they are losing their business.

SunTrust Banks is cutting ties with would-be reality stars David and Jason Benham after liberal activists attacked them for their conservative views on abortion and gay marriage, The Daily Caller has learned.

In a statement provided first to TheDC on Friday, the Benham brothers confirmed that SunTrust Banks has pulled all of its listed properties with the Benham brothers’ bank-owned property business, which includes several franchisees across four states.

The move comes just a week after HGTV announced it was canceling a planned home renovation show hosted by the brothers.

“If our faith costs us our HGTV show and our business, then so be it,” said Jason Benham on Friday.

“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 Benhams, in their statement, said the news came “without warning or explanation from SunTrust and took place over a 15 minute period” on Thursday. The Brothers said they have had a “mutually productive working relationship with SunTrust for many years” and hold a ”preferred broker” status with the bank.

The brothers said they contacted SunTrust, but bank employees declined to explain the reasoning for what happened.

Reached for comment by TheDC on Friday, SunTrust corporate spokesman Mike McCoy would not say whether the Benhams’ political views impacted their decision.

“We continuously review our supplier relationships and changes to the list of companies we rely on for services is a natural part of our business, however we do not publicly comment on specific vender relationships,” McCoy told TheDC.

In their statement, the Benhams said they “recognize SunTrust’s right to hire or fire any real estate broker they choose but do not support the decision” to fire independent franchisees that are associated with them. Many of these franchisees, they said, “do not hold the same beliefs” they do.

“As Americans we find ourselves at a crossroads and are forced with a decision to either stand up or sit down,” David Benham said. “Evidently, SunTrust’s longstanding commitment to diversity must not include our historic Christian values.”

One such franchisee is Joel Morimanno of Benham Real Estate of SW Florida.

“I believe SunTrust has requested a blanket reassignment of all Benham Brother listings across the nation because of their Christian beliefs,” Morimanno said in a statement to TheDC.

“The success of my business is based on my performance,” he said. “I work hard to maintain a Preferred Status with all my clients. It appears that SunTrust simply reassigned the listing based on other external factors.”

In an email obtained by TheDC, Morimanno was told by SunTrust’s third-party asset management company: “Unfortunately the seller (SunTrust) is asking for this property to be re-assigned. This was the direct clients (SunTrust) request. I really appreciate all your efforts on this property…This one is out of our control. It is really nothing you did.”

“It is highly unusual for a big asset manager to reassign assets without cause. I even offered to waive my commissions on the sale of the property but they refused and said they were required to reassign the property,” Morimanno explained.

Benham REO Group, the brothers’ main company, “offers streamlined and scaled property management solutions to bank clients for the purposes of liquidating large volumes of foreclosed properties in the Carolinas,” according to its website.

“Having served more than 200 Bank clients and managed/sold over 6,500 foreclosed properties since its inception, the Benham Real Estate Group also provides home buyers/sellers/investors with a highly trained sales team that specializes in working with people interested in purchasing REO property,” the website said.

The Benhams were set to host a new home-renovation show on the Home and Garden Television network called “Flip It Forward.”

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I have stated many times the photographer should have the right to refuse service. In fact I wish all businesses would put up signs stating their feelings about such things.

There are gay progressives and they do want to force people, by using weight of government, to bend to their will. There are progressive gays and straights that want special privileges.

Again mixing apples and oranges. This is not the same situation as the Benham brothers. Government never became involved.

TLC, you say there was no group who pressured HGTV.  But if HGTV knew there are many people like yourself and might expect all of you to boycott them for sponsoring gay-bashers, then dropping the brothers might be a business decision…is that what you mean?  

The same would be true for Suntrust, I suppose.  

I suppose they both could be afraid of boycotts by all who feel strongly about gay-bashing - which would include gays - and thus decide that it would be better for business not to sponsor gay-bashers.  

Then too, they should look to the Chick Filet experience, where a boycott inspired counter-buying - a HUGE reaction - and Chick Filet reaped a big windfall.  In fact this may have been the realization that dawned on Suntrust and brought about their reversal.

I would not boycott HGTV or Suntrust for making dumb business decisions that hurt nobody but themselves (nor would I invest in them).  But I believe they really did it either out of fear of the PC police or pure hatred of gay-bashing, both too emotional a basis for business decisions.  It hurts other people too, because it empowers the PC police, with whom I personally am at war, and it encourages the whiny faction of the gays.  

(I tried to edit this comment and it disappeared while "saving.")

I take it, TLC, that you approve of HGTV's decision to off-load the brothers.   You believe they did it based on principle, but you defend it as a business decision.  Well, I too believe they did it on "principle," but I do not approve of making business decisions on that basis - too emotional.  I speak only as a business person, and do not intend to infringe HGTV's right to run its business as it sees fit, or its right to free speech.

I will not be iinvesting in them.

Eloise: Yes, your first paragraph is what what I am saying. But we are not talking about boycotts such as the one with Chick fillet. What we are talking about are consumers doing what they do every day, watch TV programming they like. If I am to watch a TV program it has to be people who will entertain me and likeability of the host is important. If you are going to air a program you are starting in the hole when the hosts have offended a large segment of the population.

If the HGTV demographic was mostly conservatives then they might see the brothers as a plus. I believe I read where the HGTV demographic is just the opposite. I also read somewhere that one of the top executives was gay. I wonder if that might also be true for Sun Trust. I haven't dug much into the Sun Trust decision.

Businesses make decisions based on a variety of reasons. When I researched the article for my blog I quoted one of the brothers saying that HGTV was bullied by bloggers. They then go on to blame it on the "gay agenda." There is no gay agenda, but there is a progressive agenda that has the support of some gays.

I do understand the power of the PC police, but those are mostly the main stream media personnel who amplify the voice of small groups or occasionally a lone blogger. In the case of HGTV I could find no evidence the so-called PC police were engaged.

well, I trust you know whereof you speak, TLC…that the brothers were such outspoken gay-haters that their ratings would drop when word got around…I could not venture an opinion on that, due to ignorance.  

I can imagine the gay executive making the decision based on that belief.  But I am suggesting that maybe he is swayed by his own "principles" and could make a wrong assumption about his viewers, upping his chances of a bad business decision.

I won't be investing in them.

I never said the Benhams hated gays. I have only said they compared gays to rapists and murders. They then would say just the opposite and say they like gays. I cannot judge the brothers because I don't know them. All I can say is their choice of words and tone will make some shy away from them. It's simply the world in which we live. We are often judged by the perception of our words. LOL trust me, I have been often judged by my words.

Well … of course. 

The gays are a very small segment of the population TLC. They appear larger than they are due to the fact that they are being used and heavily promoted by our government and main stream media. Gay's, in essence, are the "new black".

Chik Filet is a perfect example that there are more supporters for freedom, including speech, or ideas that radical liberals disagree with.

Gay radicals attacked that company due to the CEO's Christian beliefs. That call for a boycott from those radicals made a lot of money for Chik Filet.

The same thing happened with Duck Dynasty's Phil Robinson, when he was fired by A&E for his personal opinion and his Christian beliefs concerning gay marriage. Everyone jumped behind Robinson, and there was a threat of a boycott of A&E, as well as Cracker Barrel. Those companies realized that there were a lot more people standing with Robinson than with those radical gays.

Had the Benham brothers show been well known, there is no doubt that the Benham brothers would, like Robinson, been rehired, thanks to their supporters.

Suntrust bank found out the hard way, that we who support our first amendment rights are not in the minority, as radical gays and their supporters are.

HGTV can hire or fire whomever they please, just as I can refuse to ever watch them again, and I cancelled my mag subscription with them as well.

kwicgov55

You are mixing apples and oranges. Chik Fillet is nothing like the situation with the Benham brothers. No one has boycotted. No one stood in the streets screaming and ranting.

You do have the option of never watching HGTV again. These days its both sides always boycotting someone because they disagree.

Phil Robinson was the same case as the Benham brothers. He as well said some vile things about gays, going so far as to compare them to pedophiles. I love it when these people speak out so that I know what is in their heart.

Hobby Lobby is an example of government forcing people to act against their beliefs. That is where the outrage should be applied. We should be angry that government applies laws unequally.

You say gays are a small segment of the population. I would be just as angry if one person was being treated unequally by the government and its mountain of laws and regulations. The government sits back and laughs at gays and Christians fighting, it keeps everyone from looking at the real snake in the room.

It shows that we still have some clout Robin. I heard about this last night, and it left me feeling hopeful that we can still fight back against the evil from the left.

Indeed, we do! And, we can and will! 

This is unbelievable! Previously, I could care less whether a person was gay, straight, or otherwise. Now, I can honestly say, that those gay radicals are evil, and I despise them! There is no doubt that the bank is pandering to the gays. This bank should be boycotted right out of business!

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke

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