December 1, 2004

Alabama Lawmaker Urges Gay Book Ban


The Birmingham News in Alabama today is reporting that a state lawmaker, Rep. Gerald Allen, wants to ban novels with gay characters from public libraries, including university libraries.
Allen's proposed bill would prohibit the use of public funds for "the purchase of textbooks or library materials that recognize or promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle." Allen said he filed the bill to protect children from the "homosexual agenda."
Allen said that if his bill passes, novels with gay protagonists and college textbooks that suggest homosexuality is natural would have to be removed from library shelves and destroyed. "I guess we dig a big hole and dump them in and bury them," he said.
If the bill became law, public school textbooks could not present homosexuality as a genetic trait and public libraries couldn't offer books with gay or bisexual characters. Allen said no state funds should be used to pay for materials that foster homosexuality. He said that would include nonfiction books that suggest homosexuality is acceptable and fiction novels with gay characters. While that would ban books like "Heather has Two Mommies," it could also include classic and popular novels with gay characters such as "The Color Purple," "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and "Brideshead Revisted."