Gay Pride: A View From My Window

By

June 2, 2011

The move is complete and The Family Foundation has a new home.  It is a tremendous opportunity for our organization to grow and continue to increase our influence on behalf of Virginia families.  The new digs happen to come with some very interesting views out our windows.  Some of the windows look out over the beautiful Capitol lawn and state building tops, each flying high the Virginia state flag, inspiration for our work.

Other windows look westward and see miles of Richmond landscape.  However, yesterday morning as I looked out one of these windows, a particular pair of flags caught my attention.  Next to the Federal Reserve Building flies a large American flag.  Below it, where one might presume there would be a Virginia flag if a second flag exists, I saw a rainbow flag.  Upon further investigation it was determined that the flag is flying in honor of “Gay Pride Month,” recognized in a presidential proclamation as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.  (A representative of the Fed claims the President’s proclamation is “not related” to the Fed’s decision to fly the rainbow flag.) 


Although the Federal Reserve is a private entity, it is disappointing to see it participate in this celebration.  Media reports indicate that there have been complaints from employees who are offended by the flag.  According to Sally Green, chief operating officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, “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.”  Apparently that inclusivity doesn’t apply to those who do not condone homosexual behavior.

No doubt President Obama has made advancing the acceptance of homosexual behavior a priority that seems to equal or take precedent over working toward reducing the national debt or reducing unemployment.  In the President’s proclamation this year he touts all that he has done to make “significant progress towards achieving equality for LGBT Americans.”  One can presume the president’s words include his support for same-sex marriage.  

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.  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.

Unfortunately, given the recent decision of the President and United States Attorney General Eric Holder to choose not to defend the federal DOMA 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.  

At The Family Foundation, we will simply choose to use this flag, like the view of Mr. Jefferson’s capitol, as motivation for the work that lies ahead.

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36 Responses to “Gay Pride: A View From My Window”

  1. Mark Siegel says:

    So a view of Mr. Jefferson’s capitol building motivates the FF to place obstacles in the way of homosexuals in their pursuit of happiness as Mr. Jefferson intended for all Americans. How admirable.

  2. Jim Aiken says:

    Thank god people like you (and organizations like yours) are fast becoming dinosaurs. Equal rights for all Americans will come about despite your opposition. You are on the wrong side of history and you will fade into the past just like the generations of bigots before you.

  3. Jim says:

    This comes under the heading of “Too bad, sweetie.” What if an Athiest had a view of a large cross outside his window and was deeply offended? Should it be taken down? It’s not just a one way street. If the world has to put up with the fact that you’re a religious bigot, you have to put up with the fact that a majority of Americans are not.

    Oh, by the way – just what exactly does the FF do for families with gay members? Nothing? Harassment? Send the kids to Jesus Camp? I’ll tell you what they do – make their lives miserable and insist that they turn to Jesus or burn in eternal hellfire. Oh, and by the way, exactly how are your teachings any different at all from the Rev. Fred Phelps? You may be better looking and have a better wardrobe, but otherwise, it’s exactly the same.

    If you want a theocracy, move to Iran.

    • Betsy says:

      Thank you for putting that so eloquently, could not have said it better myself.

      I don’t know about the rest of the world but the god I choose to believe in loves “all” his children, not just the ones these individuals have chosen as the correct type.

      Thanks again!!!

    • Diego says:

      I’m gay.

      I’m agnostic.

      I know that misguided groups like “The Family Foundation of Virginia” are going to oppose gay rights until they all pass away from old age.

      Yet…I agree that we shouldn’t be flying the flag.

      Why do we have to be so in-your-face to people? You know what hinders our cause more than anything else? Stupid gay pride parades and dumb crap like flying a rainbow in Virginia. Geez. Can’t you see that? Wouldn’t you get pissed if you saw them flying some “Jesus Camp” flag at the state capitol? I would.

      Anyways. Live and let live. Take the flag down.

      • David says:

        Your comment is at best silly, but mostly it’s counter-intuitive. Don’t get me wrong, I also find Pride parades distasteful, but a flag is not a pride parade. Pride parades give organizations like this one a moral high road. They can point at those men dancing on floats in nothing but metallic thongs in broad daylight and say, “We shouldn’t give them the right to adopt, look at them.” So, that makes sense. However, a flag is a symbol and this particular symbol says, “Hi, we’re here. We work at this building, we live in this city, we pay taxes, we’re your neighbor, we’re in the car next to you, and we want equal rights.” I’m wondering, before you realized you were gay, were you a minority? I feel based on this comment that you probably weren’t. If you were, then I doubt you have a firm grasp of the history of your minority’s struggle. When black Americans wanted their rights they also put up signs and got in people’s faces. Don’t forget “A man was lynched today.” Nothing is more in your face or effective that that and because of that sign and other symbolic gestures like it, lynchings became much fewer – and black Americans began to get rights that other Americans had already taken for granted. The fact is that in the US we have symbols that will offend someone. The American flag offends people. The Republican Party’s signs offend me. The fact that people can stand in front of my synagogue holding up anti-Semitic signs is offensive. But guess what? It’s also beautiful and it’s also an important brick in the foundation of US society. We have a right to free speech and have an obligation to use it. If the FF doesn’t like the flag – so what? You should, it represents you and the rights that so many in our community (and so many of our allies) are fighting for. You should be ashamed.

    • David says:

      What a joke that the FF takes its inspiration from Jefferson. How dare you defame the name of this great man to justify your very un-libertarian attacks on people you don’t like. Using government power to punish people you hate while giving special rights and legal privileges to straight couples is just another form of social engineering. It is the opposite of a free society. Stop lying about your motives, Ms. Cobb. Don’t elevate your base bigotry to some form of abstract political philosophy: you’re simply fighting to further institutionalize your own hatred. Period.

  4. Eric says:

    No agenda driven special interest groups, Mr. JEFFERSON wanted all Americans to live under ONE UNITED FLAG! Not fragmented special interest groups that must fly a flag to prove something. The rest of us do not want a fragmented society with a different flag everyday needing to be flown. The American flag alone will do us fine.

  5. Jim Smith says:

    As a tax-paying, voting, atheist, gay, Virginian, this is way cool.

    Equality for all.

  6. Gay Answers says:

    Heterosexuality is gender-inclusive equality and diversitry orientation of the sexes (i.e. man + woman).

    Same-sex orientation is gender bigotry or gender diversity phobia. Men always excluding women simply because women are different and complementary, in the name of love!, is not diversity.

    Same-sex sexual preference is no better than same-race racial preference!

    • ReDu says:

      Apparently, you don’t know any gay people. Being gay isn’t anti heterosexual, by any stretch. In fact, just the opposite. Gay people are the sort of presence that benefits the opposite gender with all the spiritual, emotional and intellectual love and support, just not all the sexual tension that apparently messes up heteros ability to think clearly. Hetero men DON’T get along with women at all. Hence all the violence, oppression and subjugation females have been dealt since the dawn of man. It’s the LGBT who are the greatest FOIL to that, if only the LGBT were allowed to participate and offer their considerable gifts of compassion heteros sorely need. Gay folks are that compliment to the human race, the way the thumb compliments the fingers on the hand. It’s way past time some people got over their primitive fears, and engaged some enlightenment about gay people. It’s not even natural to fear and distrust gay people to this degree. No one would if they weren’t TRAINED to feel that way.
      After all, gay people are not strangers to the entire of the human race and never have been. Why do people still WANT to have SUCH a problem with gay people when there isn’t a GOOD reason for it?

    • Edgewaterprog says:

      Oh that is rich, Gay Answers, trying to pretend that LGBT persons are the bigots. Diversity would mean diversity of viewpoints and life experiences not simply on sexual point of view (heterosexualist). Nice try, but a completely unconvincing argument.

  7. Jan says:

    I find it funny that homosexuals are screaming about “eqaulity” or civil “rights”… NO ONE IS TAKING ANYONE’S RIGHTS AWAY… why should Americans have to have a LIFESTYLE pushed in their faces for acceptance.

    • Betsy says:

      Seriously, I guess technically you are right, no one’s rights are being “Taken away” because they have not been afforded the same rights as everyone else.

      Most individuals have the right to marry who they choose to,did anyone question your sexual preferences before you married?

      You can’t take away something you never had, get your facts straight before you voice your opinion!

    • Edgewaterprog says:

      Jan, no one is making you accept anything. And just because a group within a private organization was permitted to fly a flag on a building does not mean that anything is being pushed in your face. There would be no end to controversy if everone’s sensativities were sated.

  8. [...] fly throughout the month of June. Predictably, the sight of the rainbow has anti-gay activists seeing red. Tags: Richmond VA, Virginia LINK [...]

  9. Kurt says:

    “Apparently that inclusivity doesn’t apply to those who do not condone homosexual behavior.”

    First, June is GLBT Pride month. This is a month dedicated to recognizing the unique and painful struggle that GLBT Americans have faced, and the unique and positive influence they have had on the evolution of our country. This is similar to Black History month.

    White Anglo-Saxon Protestants don’t get a month, because the world already revolves around you. You’re the dominant characters in US history books, the majority of faces seen on television, and the lions share of authors of print material. You’re everywhere, all the time. This month is about celebrating diversity, not the majority.

    Second. Your contempt for people who you do not understand is pitiful. You are no better than people who wanted to keep the races separate, or who opposed women’s rights. History will be your judge. You may continue to do all the work you want, but like Sisyphus, you’ll never reach your goals.

  10. Lindoro Almaviva says:

    Time to take a deal-with-it pill and wash it down with a large glass of you-are-not-the-master-of-anyone followed by a double shot of tough-it-up.

    Like a commenter said, your ideas and your organization is becoming more shrill only because you realize that you are now in the minority and you feel you need to scream louder to be heard.

    Welcome to the irrelevancy room. Make yourself comfortable.

  11. Val says:

    Jefferson is not Jesus. You can’t just make up stories about his intentions and then cram them down other people’s throats.

    Citation needed on Jefferson’s apparent disdain for interest groups and non-political flags.

  12. BobApril says:

    Kudos to the Family Foundation for leaving up opposing comments.

    However, your primary point – that this issue should be decided at the polls instead of by the President – ignores two facts. One, the President’s decision not to defend DOMA does not decide the issue – that specific case will be decided by the court, and your side will indeed have someone defending it, Paul Clement. Two, issues of civil rights and equality should never be decided by majority vote. “It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny.” = James Fenimore Cooper.

  13. [...] Our comments earlier today regarding the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s unprecedented flyi… has sparked a media and political frenzy of sorts. Earlier, OneNewsNow.com reported on the controversy, quoting Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb. It caught the attention of Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13, Prince William) who sent a blistering letter to Richmond Fed President Jeffery Lacker. Julian Walker of the Virginian-Pilot appears to be the first to report it tonight, about an hour ago (8:47) followed by our friend Greg Letiecq at Black Velvet Bruce Li, who enthusiastically applauds the delegate for his rebuke — and well deserved, too. Delegate Marshall takes on the misinformation that the Federal Reserve somehow is unaccountable because it is a private entity. But it is chartered by Congress under federal law and its Board of Governors are approved by Congress. It controls the nation’s money supply, the amount of currency that is printed (inflation, anyone?) and interest rates for crying out loud! For a private entity, with no governmental accountability, it seems to do massively important governmental functions. [...]

  14. Sarah says:

    I have to wonder why it is that all “Christians” assume that gays people are not also believers. The difference is we realize that people are not made in molds with the same though process as those who choose to be bigots. I do believe that “Thou Shalt Not Judge” is an important part of God’s message. I say you need to use your efforts on more important things like feeding the hungry or anything else that might help someone, rather than knocking those who are not JUST LIKE YOU!

  15. Joe Revere says:

    Most of us realize how ridiculous this is to have such an insignificant flag flown just below the grand old flag. Lets just hold our noses for a month while the mentally twisted feel a sense of false victory.

  16. CJ says:

    This website really discourages me. It talks about family values – and yet what are they doing to protect heterosexual marriages from divorce? Are they doing anything to pass laws in that arena? Or, is their focus entirely against a minority group that desires equal LEGAL rights? The USA is a democracy – this is true. But, the USA also has a legal document that says everyone should be protected, especially from discrimination by the majority. The Family Foundation needs to focus on problems INSIDE the church and stop judging those OUTSIDE the church who may believe differently than them. As well, not everyone inside the church believes as they do. Many, many Christians believe in equality and many Christians disagree with the bigotry that many people are promoting.

  17. Rachel Sargent says:

    As a Christian conservative I say we need to open up our minds and give them a chance. Times are changing and maybe they are right in a way. I wouldn’t like for them to mess with my marriage so maybe we should not mess with their marriage or lifestyle either.

  18. Paul says:

    It’s really absurd to find such hatred under the guise of “family values”.

  19. [...] at the Fed reignites gay-rights debate *Lawmaker blasts gay-pride flag at Richmond Fed Gay Pride: A View From My Window Redistricting session on Thursday just a prelude Wampler announces retirement from Va. Senate [...]

  20. Maggie4NoH8 says:

    Be thankful you live in a country where you can post an article like this, let alone exist as an organization.

    Believe it or not, there are those who find you, your organization and your lifestyle as offensive, if not more, than you find homosexuality.

    Suck it up, STFU and live *your* life as you see fit.

    Remember, before you can expect the freedom and respect from others for yourself and your lifestyle, you have to give the same to EVERYONE else. If you have trouble understanding this, try critical and rational thinking for a while.

    • Jeff G. says:

      I would suggest you try dealing with the fact that what you defend as science has not been found to be genetic like one’s race or sex, nor can the sex ever be complementary/natural. You defend that which claims it is “normal”, but biology says otherwise.

      • Maggie4NoH8 says:

        Perhaps you meant to reply “in general”, rather than to my post because 1) I did not mention science, or nature, or genetics and 2) I was raising the point that America is a society founded to embrace and protect minorities and the oppressed.

        To be “American” is to fully respect others, giving them the same respect you wish bestowed upon yourself. The saying “to each his own…” comes to mind.

        America accommodates the christian faith (and any other for the most part), not the other way around. There are examples of other countries/governments in which faith/religion accommodate the government (the middle east)… Unfortunately, as history shows, this just does not work, it will never work.

        The point is, the Family Foundation has the option to NOT fly the rainbow flag in support of LGBT Pride month. But that freedom comes with a caveat – they have to respect another’s choice TO fly the rainbow flag.

        I don’t like marigolds – in fact, I hate them and I think they stink. They make me sneeze too. So, I don’t plant them in my front yard. Across the street, an elderly lady plants them every year. She says they are colorful, were her mother’s favorite and are easy to tend and grow (which for her being elderly, I can appreciate).

        So, every day I come home from work and have a choice – do I work myself up into a lather about her awful flowers, or, do I find in myself joy because her marigolds are there for the same reasons peonies are in my front yard. Inevitably, I choose the latter.

        Another hot topic now is marriage equality. While it is wayyyyy more complicated than my flower bed dilemma, it is analogous, and I struggled with it for some time.

        Back to “America accommodates faith” – “holy matrimony” fits the definition of civil marriage, and our legal system acknowledges those joined in holy matrimony by their faith as “married”. You don’t have to joined in holy matrimony by your priest to be “legally married”, in fact, marriage can be accomplished purely secularly.

        Holy matrimony and marriage (civil) are distinct from one another and logic against marriage equality must exclude religious reasons.

        Again, I am faced with a choice – do I find joy in, and celebrate another couple’s union (because it brings, and means, the same to them as my holy matrimony/marriage does to me), or do I work myself into a tizzy because I personally would NEVER choose a same-gender partner?

        I choose the positive – to find joy in other’s happiness and joy.

        In my life, that is what being patriotic is about. That is what America is about. That is what my faith is about. Just because it isn’t for me, doesn’t mean it isn’t for everybody (or anybody) else!

        I’ve learned the more I embrace other’s “idiosyncrasies”, the more I enjoy my own.

  21. Jeff G. says:

    The posts defending homosexuality are misguided. You support that which is not the equal of one’s race or sex nor can it ever be physically complementary. Instead you use name calling and intimidation to avoid dealing with the reality that homosexuality is a sham lifestyle.

  22. Richard says:

    First off, Jesus had one true message, to love. It was his love for ALL MEN that drove him to sacrifice his own life so that we as humans might all be saved. This doesn’t even begin to mention the “thou shalt not judge” clause. Jesus would likely have looked at this foundation as a bearer of hatred, not as the giver of salvation to the virginia family! Second it is apalling that there is still such stupidity and ignorance in a country as great as America. This is not to say that you belonging to this foundation are stupid but merely that you fail to realize the meaning of the word family! Family (the edifice you claim to protect) can in fact consist of a same sex couple and their children be they adopted or concieved naturally with other consenting partners. Thirdly as an American i fail to see how you believe that equal rights for all people even those of us that are GLBT is a problem, if you are (as you claim to be) in the majority. Perhaps the issue is more sub-surface than you claim it to be. You are it seems afraid to allow anyone different from you or those entombed within your organizations hateful system of values the ability to have the same rights as you posses. I see a great parallel between the goals of this foundation and that of Hitlers third Reich. To allow others who are subjugated at present by the denial of rights you take forgranted is in your opinion a loss because in loosing the ability to deny them rights you loose a sense of dominance. At any rate, I fully support the flying of the flag in it’s rightful place BELOW the American Flag, because it represents the idea that America is made up of all sorts of Americans some of whom are still struggling to get the rights and freedoms that that flag prommises, or did you forget what the flag stands for? Perhaps the statue of Liberty as well? I also think that if you believe that your crusade against others many of whom are of the same faith is just, you had best be looking hard into the teachings of the lord our God (notice i say OUR) at their most simplistic and basic level because you are missing the picture!

  23. frank healy says:

    you’d prefer the confederate flag?

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