Flag at the Fed reignites gay-rights debate
The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank’s attempt to show inclusiveness in the workplace by flying the rainbow flag outside its building has reignited a divisive gay-rights debate.
Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, is calling on the bank to remove the flag, terming its presence “a serious deficiency of judgment by your organization, one not limited to social issues.”
In a letter to Richmond Fed President Jeffrey M. Lacker, Marshall says the homosexual behavior “celebrated” by the bank “undermines the American economy.”
“What does flying the homosexual flag, or any other similar display, have to do with your central banking mission under the Federal Reserve Act passed by Congress?” writes Marshall, one of the General Assembly’s most conservative members.
The Fed, which deems itself an independent entity within the federal government, placed the flag at the request of PRISM, a group of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender bank employees, to coincide with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.
Jim Strader, a bank spokesman, said the flag was raised to fly for the month of June, and that there are no plans to change the timetable. It hangs under the American flag on a pole in front of the building.
“We are flying the pride flag as an example of our commitment to the values of acceptance and inclusion,” Sally Green, the bank’s first vice president and chief operating officer, said earlier this week.