Chase Bank Has Pattern of Partisanship on LGBT Issues

Chase Bank Has Pattern of Partisanship on LGBT Issues

The recent exposé of the employee survey that asked probing questions about employee support for the “LGBT community” has focused attention on something that the typical depositor might not be aware of, and that is the massive time and attention JP Morgan Chase lavishes on the LGBT issue.

Four years ago JP Morgan Chase told a local businessman that he had to remove a Christmas tree he donated to the lobby of a branch bank in Southlake, Texas. The reason given was that some found the Christmas decoration offensive. The order to remove was not made locally. It came from higher ups at Chase. 

It is difficult to imagine that anyone offended to find an LGBT rainbow flag displayed at a Chase bank branch or executive office would be afforded the same relief. 

Besides being among the biggest companies in the world, JP Morgan Chase is also one of the most LGBT-friendly. Meanwhile, some employees say the company is indifferent, bordering on chilly, to religious believers.

According to the annual report of the Human Rights Campaign, JP Morgan Chase scores 100% on gay friendliness. The ranking is developed from a survey the bank completed, and scores were tallied based on non-discrimination but also on “non-discrimination based on gender identity and expression” and health programs geared specifically to transgenders.

JP Morgan Chase takes a very assertive role in finding prospective employees who are LGBT. An internal group of LGBT employees formed something called GLEAM that has a top goal of actively recruiting on college campuses. And the bank regularly holds recruitment events for LGBTs in the US and Europe.

When an LGBT person joins JP Morgan Chase he is greeted by an enormous, internal “firm-wide” network called PRIDE that has 25 chapters globally and promises, “No matter what business you are part of or which region you sit in, members of PRIDE are here to help guide, advise and enrich your career.”

Several internal bank sources have said the PRIDE network is given a free hand in sending out messages through company intranet to all employees, especially during “pride week.” The original whistle blower said one message was about how an employee felt “he was always in the wrong body” and another employee said he was nervous about being gay at Chase until he saw one of his managers at a gay bar.

The public face of JP Morgan Chase also endorses LGBT causes. The bank sponsors floats in gay pride parades all over the world and has for years. It puts up LGBT rainbow signage in branches and on ATM machines, often using the slogan “Just be You.”

Image: GAY CITY NEWS

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The LGBT push at Chase is not new. A story in The Economist from more than ten years ago reported that JP Morgan had the “oldest gay and lesbian network” with, at that time, 400 members.

The push comes from the very top. JP Morgan Chase’s top spokesman Joe Evangelisti told the American Banker magazine last year that fully 10% of the top 50 executive positions at the bank are occupied by people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Five positions does not sound like a lot, but if you compare it to the general population where no more than 2% are LGBT, then the number would be just one.

The employees who have reached out to Professor Robert George of Princeton and those Breitbart has interviewed are not against diversity. However, in the words of one of them, “diversity only means uniformity of opinion.” Moreover, they suggest that “diversity” does not include them. For instance, there are 18 company-wide employee networks for those of African descent, several for women, Native Americans, Asians, Latinos, the disabled, and what appears to be two for LGBTs.

There are no employee networks for religious believers. One Chase source told Professor George that she has asked for one more than once and hasn’t even gotten a response.

Now comes the employee survey that has asked the intrusive question about employee support for the “LGBT community.” It appears to at least some employees that they are not only unsupported, but they are not allowed to voice their views without threat of harming their careers.

There is one thing that may make believing Christians happy with Chase Bank. It was reported a few weeks ago that the bank has sent letters cancelling the accounts of anyone involved in the porn industry – though the reports are not clear whether that included gay porn stars.

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