Federal Reserve faces conservative backlash for flying gay pride flagTop Highlights, Breaking News Friday, June 3rd, 2011
The Washington Post reports today that conservatives are urging the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank to take down a rainbow flag that currently flies beneath the stars and stripes outside its building in honor of Gay Pride month.
General Assemblyman Robert G. Marshall wrote a letter to Richmond Federal Reserve president Jeffery M. Lacker pushing for the removal of the flag, explaining his view that homosexuality contributes to illness, increased health costs, venereal disease and population imbalance – and that, in short, a symbol of gay pride is inappropriate relative to the mission of the Federal Reserve.
With regards to homosexuality and the promotion of gay pride, Marshall wrote that “this is a celebration of a behavior that is still a class six felony in Virginia,” and argued that Americans would doubt the integrity of an institution like the Federal Reserve if it persisted in celebrating what he termed “an attack on public morals.”
Jim Strader, a spokesman for the bank, countered with the statement that the flag is being flown as evidence of the Federal Reserve’s commitment to diversity and at the request of PRISM, a company organization representing LGBT employees. Strader also sought to clarify the fact that, contrary to popular belief, the Federal Reserve is not a government entity and that complaints regarding the flag born of this assumption are misdirected.
Equality Virginia released a statement today with regard to the flag, in which executive director James Parrish congratulated the Federal Reserve for its decision to recognize and celebrate LGBT employees, customers and affiliates during Gay Pride month.
Ultimately, Parrish argued, the bank is “a private business and should be able to make its own personnel and corporate policy decisions.”
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