GAY global news

Monroe County safeguarding LGBTQ-themed books against censorship attempts

Written by

MONROE COUNTY, Ga. (WGXA) — Two books will remain on the shelves of the Monroe County Library – in their proper age-specific location – just as those with the Flint River Regional Library System said the books have always been displayed.

What began as one parent incorrectly thinking his child obtained an age-inappropriate book by finding it in the children’s section of the library turned out to be a situation of confusion. Two books were discussed at a library review board meeting Thursday night in Monroe County after the library received two requests for reconsideration of the books. While My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluge and Stranger than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer are said to contain references to sexual orientation, the board who reviewed the books found them not to contain sexual encounters within the books – not even kissing. As it turned out, the parent’s child was accompanied by her father when the book was checked out. Some Monroe asserted that it’s the parents, and not the librarians’, job to monitor what parents deem suitable for children.

Library policy states children under the age of 18 years old may obtain a library card under signature approval of a legal guardian. The library prohibits children under the age of 12 years old to utilize the library without an adult.

Several residents took to the podium in a packed meeting room in defense of the library. However, Monroe County District 3 Commissioner John Ambrose was not one of them.

“Why are we promoting this stuff for the kids to get a hold of,” Ambrose asked of the board. “It’s like we’re trying to make our county woke like those northern states, and it’s just wrong, and you shouldn’t have those books. Now, you’re lucky I’m not the only one who gets to vote because I’d defund the library right now.”

Monroe County resident Joan Ferguson, Ph.D. addressed Ambrose’s remarks with her own public comment:

“I heard the gentleman in the back use the word ‘woke’, and you’re well within your rights to use that word, but that terminology speaks,” stated Dr. Ferguson. “Those of us who are impacted by it know what you are saying.”

She continued her address while referencing bracelet jewelry popularized in the late 1990s to mid-2000s by those displaying their religious beliefs, much as that of a person wearing a cross necklace or with the emblem of a fish attached to the back their car.

“This world is so strange to me because back in the day when so many folks were wearing that little bracelet that said ‘What Would Jesus Do,’ some of the things that are going on in our country right now are not things that Jesus would do, and if you’re comfortable with doing things that Jesus would not do; under the pretense that you are a Christian, I’m just going to have to pray for you,” Dr. Ferguson concluded.

Commissioner Ambrose then exited the room, prior to conclusion of public comments.

While the books were not only correctly shelved in the library’s young adult section, they were also specifically listed as containing LGBTIQ themes, visibly recognizable with a special sticker marking their spine. Still, with remarks made by a county commissioner implying his desire to “defund the public library, some residents said they fear this won’t be the last of this conversation in Monroe County.


Leave a Comment