The decision of the Federal Reserve Bank of Virginia on Wednesday to fly a gay pride flag in honor of LGBT pride month, has drawn criticism from conservative groups, and at least one state lawmaker who said flying the flag is a crime.
Prince William County delegate Robert Marshall, a conservative Republican member of the Virginia State General Assembly, sent a letter to the bank, warning that its display of the rainbow pride flag is a class six felony.
According to Marshall, the homosexual behavior “celebrated” by the bank flying a gay pride flag “undermines the American economy” and is a class six felony in Virginia.
Marshall was referring to the state’s “Crimes Against Nature” statue which reads in part:
§ 18.2-361. Crimes against nature; penalty.
A. If any person carnally knows in any manner any brute animal, or carnally knows any male or female person by the anus or by or with the mouth, or voluntarily submits to such carnal knowledge, he or she shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony, except as provided in subsection B.
“The Richmond Fed’s endorsement of costly, anti-social, immoral behavior is rejected by 6,000 years of Western Religious and moral teaching,” wrote Marshall, reported the The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The flag is being flown at the request of PRISM, a Richmond Federal Reserve employee group representing LGBT employees and allies.
“We are flying the pride flag as an example of our commitment to the values of acceptance and inclusion,” said Sally Green, the bank’s first vice president and chief operating officer.