Roundup: Book on LGBT Issues To Remain In Kid’s Section of Hood County, Texas Library
Note: For background on this story see this infoDOCKET post from July 3, 2015: “Fifty Challenges Filed Against LGBTQ Children’s Books in Rural Texas County”
From CBS DFW:
Hood County commissioners spent nearly three hours Tuesday listening to members of the public on both sides of arguments over some controversial books.
The books at the whirlwind’s center are “This Day In June,” an illustrated LGBT history, and “My Boy Princess,” about a 5-year-old boy who wants to dress like a princess. It started at the library when a local child discovered “This Day In June” on a display normally reserved for children’s books. His mother, Melanie Graft, addressed the court. “I’ve been forced into this discussion because my 4-year-old picked up one of the books in question from a prominent carousal and held it up to me. We’ve now had to have conversations which I would have preferred to have in a few years,” she said.
But Deanna Mehaffey, who has both straight and gay sons, disagrees. “These are our civil liberties and our rights as taxpayers. Libraries serve the entire population of the community.”
After consulting with their county attorney, [county] commissioners decided no matter what their individual preferences might be, there are no legal or constitutional reasons to do anything but support their professional librarian, Courtney Kincaid.
“Nothing’s changed,” Kincaid told CBS 11 News following the commissioners court meeting. “We are going to stand by what we have done.”
Both books deal with sexual orientation and gender identity and are intended for children four-to-eight years old.
But some complain the books are an assault on conservative principles.
“This library, as many on the progressive left do, hides their contempt for Judeo-Christian values behind the right of free speech,” said resident James Logan.
“As adults, I believe we all have a duty to protect a child’s innocence,” resident Dave Eagle said.
But others, like Hood County resident Tiffany Danna, advocate keeping the two stories.
“I want to live in a community where ideas are not feared,” she said.
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What many in the community took issue with is that “My Princess Boy” was shelved in the children’s section.
“To say you don’t want the book banned but just moved is the top of that slippery slope,” said another speaker. “By moving a book, the government is making a value judgement based on one group’s religious values. To ban or move the book, it may be a different book that you find sacred the next time that the Constitution is ignored.”
In recent weeks, Kincaid did move “This Day in June” to the parenting section since it had a discussion section in the back, but she held firm on leaving “My Princess Boy” in the picture book section.
“We have gays and lesbians in the community, and they have deserve to have items in the collection,” said Kincaid.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.