At Urging of American Family Association, Those Concerned with Religious Freedom and Protection Cancel PayPal Accounts in Droves
TUPELO, Miss.—One worldwide online payment service, two controversial state laws and three rock stars are all playing a part in heated debates over religious freedom and gender equality in Mississippi and North Carolina.
Seems unlikely, but true, as Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams and Ringo Starr have cancelled concerts to oppose laws in states along their tour routes.
The flare-up comes after Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed HB1523, a bill to protect the religious rights of people in his state, and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed HB2, which mandates that people must use the public bathroom of the gender assigned on their birth certificate. Soon after McCrory signed the law in North Carolina, PayPal announced it was cancelling plans to open a new global operations center in Charlotte, create 400 new jobs and invest $3.6 million in the area.
Last week, American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) announced that it had suspended its use of PayPal in an effort to expose the company for threatening states and trying to force them to go against the will of the people.
Now, headlines on the subject have reached the entertainment realm.
“Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Ringo Starr and PayPal, in the name of LGBT rights, are actually affirming that individuals and businesses should have the right to decline services based on one’s beliefs, as they are declining actions based on their views,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “These musicians have cancelled concerts, and PayPal has refused to do business, in states where they disagree with certain principles, supposedly because they will not stand for so-called discrimination. Are you catching the hypocrisy? They themselves are choosing not to associate with or provide entertainment for Mississippians and North Carolinians because of their personal beliefs. Yet, in the meantime, they claim that those with religious convictions in Mississippi shouldn’t have a say in how they operate their businesses, and those in North Carolina shouldn’t be allowed to keep citizens safe by requiring that both men and women use restrooms consistent with their biological gender.
“Should the government force Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Ringo Starr and PayPal to do business with a state they have disagreements with?” Wildmon continued. “In the same way, those with deeply held religious beliefs shouldn’t be forced to provide services for a homosexual wedding or anything that goes against their convictions. This is the point American Family Association has been making all along. Christians shouldn’t be forced to do business for something that violates the tenets of their faith.”
According to the Washington Post, McCrory has responded to the backlash about the bathroom law in his state by signing an executive order to expand “protections for state employees, which would prevent these workers from being fired for being gay or transgender. He also said he would seek legislation restoring the right to sue for discrimination.” McCrory, however, left the most controversial portion of the bill intact—mandating that transgender people use bathrooms that correspond only with the gender on their birth certificate.
After its cancellation of PayPal, AFA is also encouraging other organizations, as well as the hundreds of thousands of individual AFA supporters, to do the same. Many have responded to AFA’s Facebook post about the issue, stating that they are also cancelling their PayPal accounts, with comments such as:
- “Thanks, American Family Association, for suspending your services, and standing up for what is right”
- “Cancelled my account and informed them that their foray into the culture war by condemning States that protect girls and women was the reason.”
- “Will cancel my account.”
- “I am suspending my service with them!”
- “Already cancelled mine!!”
- “Cancelled. And going out of my way to vacation in NC this year.”
- “Cancelling mine today!”
- “Closing my account.”
- “I’m cancelling. Very disappointed in their hypocritical stance.”
- “The only retaliation they can understand is their wallet!! Way to go AFA!! I’m in!!”
- “Suspending my account”
- “Cancel in progress. We must stand with each other and against those who would further our moral and spiritual decline.”
- “Canceled my account yesterday!”
- “I will suspend my account today!”
- “Dropping my account!”
- “I stand with you...enough is enough”
- “Let this go viral! Don’t just cancel, encourage family & friends to cancel too!”
With its move and announcement regarding PayPal, AFA continues to support the North Carolina law, and other similar laws, that protect women and children by preventing them from being left vulnerable to predators. The bullying by PayPal over common sense legislation must come to a halt, Wildmon added, issuing the following statement last week:
“Moral bankruptcy and sexual anarchy are now exposing our women and children to harm and abuse,” Wildmon said. “As a pro-family organization that continually works to strengthen and protect families across America, we cannot sit idly by while a company like PayPal supports laws that put families at risk and punishes the state of North Carolina for protecting women and children. This is not about discrimination; this is about whether we want men to be allowed to enter the restrooms of our wives and daughters. Each individual at birth is biologically a male or female. This law simply ensures that men use men’s restrooms and women use women’s restrooms.
“It is astounding,” he continued, “that Fortune 500 companies are ruining their reputation over a law that ensures men and women use separate restrooms. Many of these same corporations, including PayPal, are doing business in Saudi Arabia—a country in which homosexuals are fined, jailed or killed for their lifestyle. Yet where is the action there? This is the very definition of hypocrisy! It is understandable if companies lobby for a lower corporate tax or for more grants, but to weigh in on a bathroom bill is nonsense. If you have a PayPal account, join American Family Association and cancel it today.”