The Federal Reserve Bank of Virginia on Wednesday began flying a gay pride flag under the American flag in honor of LGBT pride month.
President Obama had signed a proclamation on Tuesday that federally recognizes June as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender month. A spokesperson for the private financial institution said the appearance of the flag is not related to the statement the president made, but it does have to do with the month.
“We strongly support a diverse and inclusive culture at the Richmond Fed and have learned that it is important to value and embrace differences, both seen and unseen,” said Sally Green, chief operating officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, as reported on Richmond.com.
“We are flying the ‘Pride’ flag as an example of our commitment to the values of acceptance and inclusion,” Green added.
PRISM, an employee LGBT group at the Richmond bank, requested the flag be flown the entire month of June.
The Family Foundation, whose mission statement is to strengthen families in Virginia by applying founding principles and faith to policy and culture, recently moved into a building within eyeshot of the Federal Reserve Bank of Virginia. The foundation weighed in on this issue in its blog.
“In Virginia, the people spoke on this matter when we passed the Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman for our Commonwealth,” a recent post says. “In fact, 31 other states have made this declaration in their Constitutions. Despite polls that indicate more acceptance of same-sex marriage, when the issue goes to the ballot box, traditional marriage wins.”
The post continued, “Unfortunately, given the recent decision of the President and United States Attorney General Eric Holder to choose not to defend the federal DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) statute, the opinions on matters of ‘equality’ by the people of this nation will be subjugated to the opinion of this President. Thankfully, employees of the Federal Reserve have already begun launching complaints.”
The Mississippi-based American Family Association received a complaint from a Federal Reserve employee who objects to the flag and what it represents.
In an email to AFA, the employee wrote, “For the past five or six years, the homosexual agenda has been pushed down our throats. [The bank president and vice president] have initiated this agenda. This offends me as a Christian.”
A Federal Reserve employee who asked not to be identified said each group has an “executive” sponsor and that the president of the Richmond Federal Reserve, Jeffery Lacker, granted PRISM’s request to fly the flag.
Virginia state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William) sent a letter to Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker. The Christian Post contacted Del. Marshall directly for a copy. Here is the text of the letter:
Dear President Lacker:
Flying the Homosexual Flag just under the American flag outside Richmond’s Federal Reserve Bank building is a serious deficiency of judgment by your organization, one not limited to social issues.
The Fed’s policies are supposed to “contribute to the strength and vitality of the U. S. economy,” according to the official US Government Organization manual. A flagpole in front of a federal building is not a commercial or political message board. 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?
Moreover, the homosexual behavior “celebrated” by your Richmond’s Federal Reserve Bank spokeswoman undermines the American economy, is a class six felony in Virginia (18.2-361, VA Code), shortens lives, adds significantly to illness, increases health costs, promotes venereal diseases, and worsens the population imbalance relating to the number of workers supporting the beneficiaries of America’s Social Security and Medicare Programs.
The Richmond Fed’s endorsement of costly, anti-social, immoral behavior is rejected by 6,000 years of Western Religious and moral teaching. You want the American people to trust your judgment in economic matters when your spokesperson celebrates an attack on public morals? Why?
Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson rejected such specious posturing. He wrote in 1809 to Don Valentine de Feronda, “I never did, or countenanced, in public life, a single act inconsistent with the strictest good faith; having never believed there was one code of morality for a public, and another for a private man.”
Mr. Lacker, take down that flag!
Delegate Bob Marshall
The Federal Reserve’s employee handbook outlines restrictions on political activity, saying, “It is important that the Federal Reserve not be viewed as taking part in or sponsoring political campaigns or partisan activities, so you may not engage in political activity while on duty or on Reserve Bank premises, and your association with the Federal Reserve must no be publicized in connection with any political activities.”
Jim Strader, a spokesman for the Richmond Federal Reserve told The Christian Post that the bank has received a number of comments, “some in support and some obviously opposed” to the decision to fly the flag.
When asked if the flag would fly the entire month, Strader responded by saying “yes.”
According to Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation, employees at the reserve plan to make a request to fly the Christian flag in September.
“It will be interesting to see how Mr. Lacker responds to his other employees. Unfortunately, inclusion and diversity only go one way at times,” she said.
Christian Post Contributor Paul Stanley contributed to this report.