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Gay Publications Under Attack Nationally


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Gay Publications Under Attack Nationally

by Beth Shapiro 365Gay.com New York Bureau

Posted: September 1, 2005 7:00 pm ET

(New York City) Social conservatives are waging a war throughout the country to have LGBT books an periodicals removed from the shelves of public libraries.

In the latest instance several dozen people demanded that a suburban Columbus library remove two gay publications - Outlook Weekly and Gay People's Chronicle.

"Ours is a community of high standards and values," said Bruce Cameron, a 33-year resident of Upper Arlington. "The materials are lewd, salacious, lascivious - and a bunch of other big words of legal significance - but in normal parlance, disgusting, obscene and pornographic."

People in the visitors gallery shouted down the board as it voted unanimously to keep the two free periodicals but place them in an area of the library where they would not be easily accessible by children.

The American Library Association, in a report to be issued later this week, says that attempts to have library books removed from shelves increased by more than 20 percent in 2004 over the previous year.

Three books with gay themes were among the works most criticized - Maya Angelou's memoir "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky, and "King & King," by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland.

National organizations such as the American Family Association have been involved with library challenges, but far more complaints come from individual parents and patrons, according to the ALA.

Conservative anger over King & King prompted the Oklahoma House of Representatives to pass a resolution that would ban books on gay families from the children's sections of public libraries throughout the state. (story) Two days later Tulsa libraries moved gay themed children's books to an Adults Only section (story)

In February a bill that would have forced schools to use only books that omitted any reference to gay families died when it failed to win the endorsement of the Arkansas' Senate Education Committee. (story)

©365Gay.com 2005


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