Virginia Del. Robert G. Marshall isn't happy with Richmond Federal Reserve Bank's decision to fly a rainbow flag outside of its building. The lawmaker wrote a letter of condemnation to bank officials, calling the decision to fly the gay-rights symbol "a serious deficiency of judgement...not limited to social issues."
Marshall's letter, addressed to Richmond Fed President Jeffrey M. Lacker, goes on to say that the bank should not be celebrating homosexual behavior. This, in his view, "undermines the American economy." The Richmond Times-Dispatch has more:
“The Richmond Fed’s endorsement of costly, anti-social, immoral behavior is rejected by 6,000 years of Western Religious and moral teaching,” writes Marshall, who is among the General Assembly’s most conservative members and has long been outspoken on gay-rights issues. “You want the American people to trust your [judgment] in economic matters when your spokesperson celebrates an attack on public morals?”
Sally Green, the bank's vice-president and chief operating officer, has a different view. Earlier in the week, she said that the flag provides an example of the bank's commitment to "acceptance and inclusion."
A video report from WTVR-TV has more on this ongoing debate:
It is important to note that the Richmond Fed is a private institution. Some argue that the bank has every right to embrace any cause it would like, including gay rights. Others, though, echo Marshall's view that the flag presence is offensive.