A Wyoming library board has refused to remove books about sex, gender and LGBT+ issues from the children’s and young adults section.
The Campbell County Library has faced outcry from angry locals complaining that the materials in certain books are “disgusting” and “inappropriate for children”. Prosecutors even considered filing criminal “obscenity” characters against the public librarians over the decision to keep books about sex and LGBT+ issues on shelves.
Terri Lesley, the executive director of the library, told Wyoming Public Radio that there have been 27 books that have been challenged and 52 requests had been made by members of the public to request that a book be reconsidered as part of the library’s collection.
However, Campbell County Library has refused to bow to public pressure, and its board members voted down an appeal to remove a single book in a two-two vote at a recent board meeting.
Tim Albin, former mayor and a longtime resident of Wright, said he “couldn’t have asked for a better friend” to the Gillette and Campbell County community than the library.
“They have done a great job,” Albin said. “My kids, we have nine of them, and the library was a great, great thing for them — is a great, great thing for them.”
Conservatives have long tried to ban books that address issues around sex, gender identity, the LGBT+ community and race
Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia’s largest district, pulled two books – Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison and Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe – from high school libraries after complaints they had sexually explicit and “homoerotic” content.
A Republican lawmaker in Texas is investigating whether schools have copies of nearly 850 books related to race and sexuality after school districts faced backlash from parents, according to a letter obtained by the Texas Tribune.
Matt Krause, a state representative and chair of the House committee on general investigating, also directed the schools to identify “any other books” that could cause students “guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex or convey that a student, by virtue of their race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously”.