We just spoke with Richard Socarides, the Chair of Fabulis’s Board of Advisors.
(Fabulis is the gay networking site that 3 Citibank employees said had “objectionable” content on their site.)
Citibank blocked Fabulis’s bank account and had requested it be terminated because of this so-called “objectionable” content. (The extent to which this site is not objectionable, is hilarious.)
They’ve since walked back and apologized for the snafu, but the events surrounding this are still murky.
We called the Human Rights Campaign for a comment, too. They are preparing a statement, which we’ll soon post.
The HRC’s first reaction to the story was, “I’m just surprised they went to the website.”
That’s kind of what Richard from Fabulis said too.
“It’s alarming. The notion that a bank would want to pass judgement on morality or appropriateness of a customer’s business – since when does a bank have to approve the nature of content [distributed by their customer]?”
He says there are three main issues with the bank account blockage:
- 1st amendment
- Equal protection rights (because the website is marketed as gay)
- Banking regulation issues
We’re still waiting to hear what Citibank has to say about this.