Main | Friday, October 03, 2008

Anti-Gay Books Battle In Virginia

It's Banned Books Week at the nation's libraries and Christianists in Virginia are using the opportunity to get anti-gay and "ex-gay" books into schools.
During a week that librarians nationwide are highlighting banned books, conservative Christian students and parents showcased their own collection outside a Fairfax County high school yesterday -- a collection they say was banned by the librarians themselves.

More than 40 students, many wearing black T-shirts stamped with the words "Closing Books Shuts Out Ideas," said they tried to donate more than 100 books about homosexuality to more than a dozen high school libraries in the past year. The initiative, organized by Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, was intended to add a conservative Christian perspective to shelves that the students said are stocked with "pro-gay" books.

Most of the books were turned down after school librarians said they did not meet school system standards. Titles include "Marriage on Trial: The Case Against Same-Sex Marriage and Parenting" and "Someone I Love Is Gay," which argues that homosexuality is not "a hopeless condition."

"We put ourselves out there . . . and got rejected," said Elizabeth Bognanno, 17, a senior at West Springfield High School, standing before a semicircle of television cameras outside her school. "Censoring books is not a good thing. . . . We believe our personal rights have been violated."
Fairfax County librarians says the books do not "support the diverse interests, needs and viewpoints of the school community," as per library inclusion policy.

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