Was a photo of underwear at the heart of Citibank's objections to a gay website?

The banking giant apologized Thursday evening to gay social-networking startup fabulis for shutting down its business account. Fabulis CEO Jason Goldberg wrote on his blog Wednesday that employees told him the account was marked for closure due to “objectionable content” found on his website.

“A few minutes ago I spoke to an account manager at Citibank,” Godlberg wrote on the group's website. “This manager let us know that a compliance review occurred, which Citi says is a standard procedure, and the review officer determined the 'content was not in compliance with Citibank's standard policies.' They requested the account be terminated.”

In making its apology, Citibank alluded to the “objectionable content,” but did not disclose its concerns.

“I apologize for any confusion about the status of your account and the fabulis website,” the bank said. “Whatever statements that were made by any Citi representative related to the content of your website were inappropriate and made in error, I will review in detail what happened.”

The bank also said it was an ally of the LGBT community.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the snafu comes on the heels of a second high-profile account closure by the bank. Citibank refused to open an account for SillyUnderwear.com last week because of the bank's concerns about content.

“While we don't comment on our customers, we typically decline accounts associated with content that the general public may potentially find inappropriate or offensive,” Citibank said in a statement regarding the matter.

To attract attention, fabulis has been giving away promotional products, including underwear, a photo of which is included on its blog.

In a Friday post titled “Citi: Was it the Underwear?” Goldberg accepts Citibank's apology, but says the bank's policies raise First Amendment questions.

“We want to turn the page on Citibank and fabulis. But we believe there is a bigger question about the way Citi conducts its business and why it feels it can determine what is inappropriate or offensive. And that question is not just for we here at fabulis, but for a much broader audience,” he says.