Though The Family Foundation's new office in Richmond has a beautiful view of the state capitol and the flags, the rainbow flag fluttering from the flagpole outside the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond is also in view. Foundation president Victoria Cobb does not expect it to fly away any time soon.
"Our expectation is it'll be flying all month," she predicts. "We think the Federal Reserve ought to be focused on the economy rather than focusing on special rights."
Meanwhile, the Mississippi-based American Family Association has received a complaint from a Federal Reserve employee who objects to the flag and what it represents. In reference to the "gay pride" flag flying just below the American flag, the employee wrote in an email: "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."
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According to Cobb, more than just bank employees are offended. "We know of businesses that are actually housed within the Federal Reserve building that I [bet] are very unhappy today," she suggests. "So it's going to be interesting to get the feedback from them."
But aside from the workers, she says the flag flies in the face of most Virginians. "In Virginia, this is not a stand that should be taken. We've as a state said we are not going to support gay marriage, for example, in our constitution, and we've been very clear on issues of gay rights," the pro-family advocate notes. "So it's disappointing to see such a large flag flying, as if it's something that this commonwealth supports."
In an interview with the website Richmond.com, Sally Green -- identified as the bank's chief operating officer -- says the institution "strongly support[s] a diverse and inclusive culture" and has "learned it is important to value and embrace differences -- both seen and unseen. We are flying the 'Pride' flag as an example of our commitment to values of acceptance and inclusion."
According to that report, PRISM -- an employee LGBT group within the bank -- requested the flag be flown. Richmond.com says the flag is expected to be flown all month.
In comments Thursday afternoon on American Family Radio, Cobb argued that to be fair, the bank should recognize an upcoming observance as well. "I look forward to the month where I look out my office window and see the Christian flag hanging during September, celebrating Christian Heritage Month," she stated. "I suspect we'll see otherwise, unfortunately, because that's the route our culture has taken."