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Two banks will stop donating to Florida’s private school scholarship program over anti-gay policies

Two of America’s largest banks will stop donating millions of dollars to Florida’s private school scholarship program over anti-gay policies

  • Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bank confirmed decision to stop support yesterday 
  • Recent investigation found that Step Up for Children supports anti-gay schools 
  • Some 83 schools don’t allow LGBTQ students and rejects them if parents are gay 

Two of America’s largest banks will stop donating millions of dollars to Florida’s private school scholarship program after discovering that some of the beneficiaries discriminate against LGBTQ students. 

Wells Fargo confirmed its decision to stop supporting the Step Up for Students program last night. 

Fifth Third Bank, based in Cincinnati, also said it had told the program that it will stop contributing. 

Wells Fargo confirmed their decision to stop supporting the Step Up for Students program last night

Fifth Third Bank tweeted Florida lawmaker Carlos Guillermo Smith (center), the state's first LGBTQ legislator

Fifth Third Bank tweeted Florida lawmaker Carlos Guillermo Smith (center), the state’s first LGBTQ legislator

In a statement to CNBC, Wells Fargo said: ‘We have reviewed this matter carefully and have decided to no longer support Step Up for Students.

‘All of us at Wells Fargo highly value diversity and inclusion, and we oppose discrimination of any kind.’ 

Fifth Third Bank tweeted Florida lawmaker Carlos Guillermo Smith, the state’s first LGBTQ legislator, to say: ‘Thanks Rep Smith for your feedback. 

‘We definitely stand with LGBTQ students and parents. 

‘We have communicated with program officials that we will not be contributing again…’

The decisions come less than a week after an investigation conducted by the Orlando Sentinel which found that 156 private Christian schools have anti-gay views and teach more than 20,000 students across the state. 

Fifth Third Bank tweeted to say: 'We have communicated with program officials that we will not be contributing again'

Fifth Third Bank tweeted to say: ‘We have communicated with program officials that we will not be contributing again’

Of the 156 schools with anti-gay views, 83 of them don't allow LGBTQ students to attend and some also don't let students attend if their parents are gay

Of the 156 schools with anti-gay views, 83 of them don’t allow LGBTQ students to attend and some also don’t let students attend if their parents are gay

The paper reported: ‘Florida’s scholarship programs sent more than $129million to these religious institutions. That means at least 14 per cent of Florida’s nearly 147,000 scholarship students last year attended private schools where homosexuality was condemned or, at a minimum, unwelcome.’

Of the 156 schools with anti-gay views, 83 of them don’t allow LGBTQ students to attend and some also don’t let students attend if their parents are gay. 

In July last year, a columnist for the Sentinel wrote a piece about Step Up for Children and at least one company, Rosen hotels and Resorts, stopped donating to it. 

State senator Darryl Rousen also pre-filed a bill last year that would stop private schools from benefiting from the program if they were rejecting students based on ‘race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.’ 

His bill hasn’t yet been considered by Legislature. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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