Sunday, March 12, 2006

Digression

There is an interesting discussion going on in the comments from my last post. Please take a minute to check it out (and to find out what your silly name is - because it's just funny.) Someone left a comment pointing out a topic that has hit the Oklahoma House.

Restricting access to books with sexually explicit OR gay themes.

Read through the bill at the site linked above. I'm all for democracy, and for people deciding what to legislate and what not to legislate (at least in a perfect world I am - when it functions as it was meant to function). However, this type of action scares me. Library's are sacred places in my world. They should be free and open and available to material of any type to anyone. I can understand reshelving individual books in children's sections based on blatant explicit sexual content. However - to put them in a special area, an area that would require a renovation of an existing library building? Spending money on this, money that is better spent on buying MORE BOOKS, to restrict funding to a library if they DON'T comply?

These are just the logistical issues. When I consider the gay themed stipulation of this bill I am more deeply troubled. What kind of message do we send our children when we tell them that a story about two people of the same sex getting married should not be shelved next to a book about two people of a different sex getting married?

**I've changed the first link above to a current article. My Google-Fu was not on its mark yesterday and, as a much appreciated commenter pointed out, the original link points to an older article. Apparently this is a long running issue in OK.***
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5 Comments:

Blogger Stitchy McYarnpants said...

"What kind of message do we send our children when . . .?"

Very simply? The message those people wish to send is that it's not ok to be gay.

It's a terrible message. And this need to "shelve" homosexuality reeks of desperation. It could actually be a good thing because desperation is often a pre-cursor to defeat. We need to be vigilent and not let those people dictate how other people live and love.

3/12/2006 11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly there are second class citizens in this state, at least in the minds of the majority and the majority of the legislators. I've lived in OK for over a decade and I still can't believe that otherwise sane seeming individuals are acutely homophobic.

I do not understand what they have against love.

I sincerely hope Stitchy is right and this act is a sign of desparation that is doomed to failure.

Thanks for shining your blog light on this scary Oklahoma moment!

3/13/2006 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually the link you posted was about a story from last year. Yes, this is a theme with this legislature. This time they have broadened it to include anything with a 'sexually explicit' theme. Sounds harmless right? Except they define sexually explicit as any depiction of nudity or sex acts.

So you can throw away any children's books on how babies are born.

Any 17 year old who is pregnant won't legally be able to check out What to expect when you're expecting!

This bill doesn't even mention funding. If a library violates the law, even unintentionally, they will close it.

More here http://www.tulsalibrary.org/research/HB2158.htm

3/13/2006 9:13 AM  
Blogger Lucia said...

This kind of thing just gets my knickers in a twist. (Not to worry, I won't post pictures.) Are these people of such exemplary morality that they have time to worry about other people's business? Yes, I know the answer is inherent in the question.

3/13/2006 12:21 PM  
Blogger amandamonkey said...

Stitchy definitely says it best - I hope she's right about the desparation measure.

3/16/2006 6:25 PM  

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