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Tuesday, September 24, 2013
WND Lets Anti-Gay Group Mislead About Book Banning
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An unbylined Sept. 20 WorldNetDaily article states:

Librarians across America are set to observe ”Banned Books Week” by highlighting titles that recently have faced censorship.

But the librarians themselves this year are being accused of banning books.

The claim comes from advocates for the community of ex-”gays.”

“Every week is ‘Banned Books Week’ for the ex-gay community,” says Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays.

“Books about leaving homosexuality are routinely censored in high schools and community libraries across the United States, while gay-affirming books are readily available for any young person questioning their sexuality,” she said.

Strange thing about this article, though: At no point does it mention any specific incidents of ex-gay books being "banned," and it only cites a single incident of these books supposedly being "banned":

“Kristin Pekoll, the librarian in charge of young adult books at the West Bend Community Memorial Library in Wisconsin, advocates for children’s books with gay themes but refuses to accept our donation of ex-gay books for children,” she said. “Public libraries are supported by all citizens, and it is appalling that tax dollars are supporting such narrow minded thinking and viewpoint discrimination.”

WND didn't mention that this case dates back to 2009, or that what opponents of "books with gay themes" wanted to do to them was far worse.

CNN reported that some opponents wanted to hold a "public book burning" of the offending titles, and a man at one public meeting told the city's library director he should be tarred and feathered.

Of course, there's no mention of the other side of the story -- specifically, what Pekoll had to say. In an essay, Pekoll points out that the whole controversy began because the library's website linked to a list of LGBT-friendly books, then moved to a request to remove specific LGBT-friendly titles from circulation or restricting them to adults only even though many were considered books for young adults. Pekoll concluded:

Last year when I decided to stand up for over eighty book in the West Bend Community Memorial Library's young adult collection, it wasn't because I though every single book on the list was gold-star material. It was because I believe that every book has a reader and every reader has a book. When you deny that person, espeically that teenager, his or her book -- when you ban that book -- you ban that kid.

It's hypocritical for PFOX to complain about censorship when apparently endorsed the censorship of books it found offensive. And it's just more bad reporting on WND's part not to tell the whole story. But then, we're used to bad reporting from WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 AM EDT

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