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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fed Flies Rainbow Flag

Being gay "undermines the American economy"? That's beyond stupid:

Rainbow Flag Goes Up; Letters Flow In, by Sabrina Tavernise, NY Times: The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond ran a rainbow flag up its flagpole last week and has been hearing about it ever since. ... The bank unfurled the flag on June 1, at the request of a group of gay and lesbian employees in honor of gay pride month.
One day later, Bob Marshall, a Republican in the House of Delegates and an outspoken opponent on gay rights issues, was moved to write a letter to the bank’s president... Gay and lesbian “behavior,” he wrote, “undermines the American economy, shortens lives, adds significantly to illness, increases health costs, promotes venereal diseases,” among other things.
That prompted a series of outraged rejoinders...
Jim Strader, a spokesman for the bank, said the bank had fielded hundreds of phone calls and as many e-mails about the flag. The flag, he said, symbolizes “values of being open and inclusive,” and shows that the bank is “a place that doesn’t discriminate.” ...
One of the most popular arguments by the flag’s opponents was that the bank is a government institution and so should not be displaying a flag that promotes a cause. And now that they are, the argument goes, they have an obligation to other causes.
“We hope there would be an even hand played when a Christian requests the Christian flag in September during Christian Heritage month,” said Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation, a conservative advocacy group.
Mr. Strader’s response is that the bank is in fact privately owned, as are all regional Federal Reserves, and that it considers requests by employees — this was the first one — but not the general public. ...

    Posted by on Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 07:20 AM in Economics, Monetary Policy | Permalink  Comments (7)


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