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Fire Destroys Gay Book Collection

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Fire Destroys Gay Book Collection

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

June 15, 2006 - 12:01 am ET

(Chicago, Illinois) Chicago police are searching for vandals who set fire to an LGBT book collection in a Chicago library.

About 100 volumes were destroyed in the blaze at the Chicago Public Library branch in the heavily gay East Lakeview neighborhood.

The fire came just over ten days before Chicago holds its LGBT pride parade and a week after the Senate rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to bar same-sex marriage. As well, this summer Chicago will host the Gay Games.

"We are disgusted by this book burning but we are not surprised by it," said Rick Garcia, public policy director of Equality Illinois.

"When the president of the United States uses his office to attack gay Americans and our families and when anti-gay extremists continue to spread hate toward gay and lesbian people is it any wonder that there are attacks on us, our institutions or on books about us?"

About 10 books in the African American literature section were also destroyed.

WBBM radio reported that the fire was set by someone using a cigarette lighter.

Police are investigating but say at this point they are not calling the fire a hate crime.

"This was not only an attack on the gay community but an attack on every decent, fair-minded Chicagoan," said Garcia.

"Anti-gay activists trade on lies about gay people and our families. Books and information are the first things they want to target."

©365Gay.com 2006

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