|Pride Flag flies at Federal Reserve in Richmond|
The bank chose to fly the flag for the entire month at the request of its LGBT employees. Naturally the bigots are up in arms over the fed's decision to celebrate the gays. Virginia's most vocal homophobe, Delegate Bob Marshall, who wrote the failed legislation to exempt the Virginia National Guard from DADT repeal last year, wrote to the Bank, requesting that they take down the flag.
In his letter, Marshall wrote, “homosexual behavior ‘celebrated’ by your Richmond’s Federal Reserve Bank . . . undermines the American economy, is a class six felony in Virginia, shortens lives, adds significantly to illness, increases health costs, promotes venereal disease, and worsens the population imbalance relating to the number of workers supporting the beneficiaries of America’s Social Security and Medicare Programs.”
Fed spokesman Jim Strader says the bank will not remove the flag, telling The Washington Post, "it represents the bank’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, which we support.”
Marshall's comments have not gone unnoticed by Virginia's LGBT advocacy groups. The Group LGBT Democrats of Virginia wrote to Marshall condemning his characterization of the LGBT community, saying, "We contend that there is no difference in the lifespan or health of responsible members of the LGBT community when compared to responsible heterosexuals, and that such language as you have used to support your opposition to the flying of the rainbow flag is inflammatory, intolerant, and deceptive. Moreover, your claim of moral superiority seems to blind you to the intolerance you have expressed... Delegate Marshall, we call on you stop perpetuating ignorance and falsehoods. It’s time to stop lying to the people of Virginia."
Equality Virginia responded to Marshall's vitriol, saying, “The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond should receive accolades for its decision to recognize and celebrate its GLBT employees, customers and vendors during Pride month. It’s a private business and should be able to make its own personnel and corporate policy decisions without Bob Marshall’s guidance or the Family Foundation’s approval.”