Undermining the Commonwealth: Bob Marshall’s New Crusade
Commonwealth residents have come to know Delegate Bob Marshall (R – Prince William County) as a right-wing legislator with known prejudices against homosexuals. Over the past few months, Delegate Marshall has tried to ban gays from openly serving in the Virginia National Guard, among other anti-gay declarations. This month, Delegate Marshall has taken up a new crusade against Virginia residents.
The month of June is being recognized as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender month by the Federal government. To honor this federal designation, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond chose to fly a rainbow flag — which symbolizes pride and diversity — outside its building. Delegate Marshall has attacked the decision to fly the flag with a letter to the bank president. In the letter, Delegate Marshall contrasted the values of acceptance, inclusion, diversity, and openness with divisiveness. He said the rainbow flag contributed to the decline in morality, public health, and the American economy.
Statements like this show that the Delegate is out of touch with the values of Virginia residents and the reality of diversity. Virginia is a diverse place, with residents hailing from all backgrounds and persuasions. By and large, Virginia residents have welcoming and accepting people. While there are those who subscribe to the belief system of Bob Marshall, they are not the majority and they do not speak for all Virginians.
Not only is Delegate Marshall’s rhetoric self-serving, divisive, and full of falsehoods, it harms many of residents who are hardworking and dedicated individuals and are leaders of our communities. At least two of his fellow Delegates have denounced his statements. Many individuals and organizations have written extensively about this latest round of anti-gay and transgendered rhetoric showing that Virginia is bigger and more diverse than Delegate Bob Marshall’s narrow belief system.
The Commonwealth is a family. Virginians are in this together. We need to stand together to build a common future — not pick fights and bully each other.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of members of the NDP Steering Committee.