OK Lawmakers Vote to Restrict Access to Homosexual-Themed Children’s Books

violadamore sent along some news on Oklahoma House Resolution 1039, written for the children of Oklahoma.
State lawmakers urged library officials to restrict children’s access to books with homosexual themes by an overwhelming margin on Monday.
House Resolution 1039, by State Rep. Sally Kern, calls on Oklahoma libraries to "confine homosexually themed books and other age-inappropriate material to areas exclusively for adult access and distribution."

"We’re not looking to ban any books," Kern said. "We just think the books should be easily identifiable to parents who may not want a child to read those materials."

It also states that a child's development "should be at the discretion of a child’s parents free from interference from the distribution of inappropriate publicly cataloged materials" and that public libraries should not expose children to material "that may be deemed harmful and inappropriate."You can listen to Rep. Sally Kern's comments on HR 1039 in MP3 or WAV format.

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

ugh, I listened

Sally Kern is a....a...a....conservative Christian!! that's for sure.

A "protected period of innocence" is not really viable in our post-millenium lives, where we're supposed to "say something if we see something." Not to mention, what about children of homosexual parents? They deserve to read at an appropriate level about lifestyles choices and those books need to BE IN THE LIBRARY! Of course it should be up to the parents to allow/disallow their children to borrow them.

All I can say is I am so glad I'm a blue-stater (for what it's worth and it doesn't amount to much these days).

Stickers

So what sort of stickers are we going to put on the books to identify them as gay themed? A rainblow? Perhaps we can have the word BIGOT with a Red circle and a slash. Maybe the librarian should jump up and scream: SIR, DO YOU REALIZE THAT WIND IN THE WILLOWS IS A GAY THEMED BOOK, AND IF YOUR CHILD READS IT THEY MAY START ATTENDING GAY PRIDE PARADES????????????????

What a waste of time and money.

Re:ugh, I listened

The problem here is not Christians, it is people who have no bloody concept of their own religion. Christians are safe, American Southern Leaning Christians are to the rest of Christianity just as Osama Bin Laden is to the Muslim faith.

I had to become a libertarian when the democrats selected an idiot twice in a row, and the republicans did the same.

Re:ugh, I listened

Its only not viable if you don't want to take the responsibility that goes with it.

Homosexuals cannot have children, its one of the problems with being homosexual. Its also one of the reasons why there's more to the issue than just religion. Even an atheist would not want their child to be gay because it would mean an end of their family line.

Let's look at it from a scientific perspective. Sexuality varies from person to person. Sexual activity is influenced by both genetics and how a person is raised (the old nature vs nuture debate, I go with both). Homosexuality isn't a switch where you are either on or off. I believe there are different levels and I believe it can be influenced beyond the genetic code created at inception. So yes, to respond to redcard's post, if a child is born with a sexuality that would be considered inactive or ambivalent, the parent is going to want to encourage them to adopt the sexuality that matches the sex organs they were born with (imagine that). That means avoiding materials that bring that sexuality into question. When the child is 18 they can make the their own choice but poll every parent, conservative or liberal, as to how they would prefer to raise their child, hetero or homo, and they are all going to say hetero.

NEWSFLASH GREG--You're wrong

NEWSFLASH GREG* -- YOUR STATEMENT IS NOT AT ALL TRUE:

(and I quote)

"Homosexuals cannot have children, its one of the problems with being homosexual.--Greg S*"

Untrue. Ridiculous. Naive.

I bet at least half the people who subscribe to LISNews knows at least one person or one child who is the child of a (or two or more) gay parents. I have two sons both of whom have gone to school with maybe half a dozen children with gay or lesbian parents. A cousin in my family is a lesbian and she and her partner have two children.

Get real!!!

Re:ugh, I listened

Homosexuals cannot have children, its one of the problems with being homosexual.

Greg, don't you ever get tired of demonstrating that you are an idiot?

First off: Orientation does not necessarily remain fixed throughout a person's life, and it is possible for an individual's orientation to swing several times. So someone who is homosexual today could be married and have had children from his or her heterosexual days. Moreover, since most people don't know that orientation can swing, a marriage partner can sire or bear a child after a swing to homosexuality.

Secondly: There is nothing about homosexuality that stops the production of either sperm or ova, so a lesbian can go to a fertility clinic and ask for artificial insemination. She can even ask if they have any donations on tap from gay men.

Thirdly: Where the hell do you and your idiot political sympathizers get off on making grand proclamations about a process of which you know nothing? Nevermind that nobody knows what even causes orientation in the first place. And to confuse gender or transgenderism with orientation while you're doing it? Ha!

Fourthly: Just where do you slot bisexuals into your narrow and bigoted world view? People who are both homo- and heterosexual at the same time?

Fifth: Given that the religio-political/right-wing is thoroughly anti-intellectual, don't think it's a rather vile and disgusting hypocrisy to suddenly invoke science? Or are you invoking the kind of hate-mongering pseudo-science commonly used by religious bigots?

For people who want real information about homosexuality, you can try the quotations file on homosexuality at my web site, or these books:

Different Drummer: Homosexuality In America
Elaine Landau -1986
ISBN 0-671-55497-2
Dewey # 306.766 L253

Being Homosexual: Gay Men And Their Development
Richard A. Isay, M.D. -1989
ISBN 0-374-11012-3
Dewey # 306.7662 I76

Homosexuality: Opposing Viewpoints
Ed: ? -?
ISBN ?
Dewey # ?

Not In Front Of The Audience: Homosexuality on Stage
Nicholas de Jongh -1992
ISBN 0-415-03363-2 pbk
0-415-03362-4
Dewey # 822.9109353 D327

Lives of Notable Gay Men and Lesbians: James Baldwin
Randall Kenan -1994
ISBN 0-7910-2301-X
Dewey # 818.5409 B181K

Know About Gays and Lesbians
Margaret O. Hyde and
Elizabeth H. Forsyth, MD. -1994
ISBN 1-56294-298-0
Dewey # 305.90664 H994

The Kinsey Institute New Report On Sex
ISBN 0-312-05268-5
Dewey # 306.7 R372

Re:NEWSFLASH GREG--You're wrong

So your saying two women or two men conceived a child? Now who's naive?

Lives of Notable Gay Men and Lesbians

This is a fine book to give to young people. It demonstrates the tremendous contribution made by lesbians and gay men. Without them the world would have lost so much. And what a positive approach to take. Thank you.

HR1039

The text is here (RTF file). It's a good rule to never form an opinion about legislation or research based on news reports.

I'm not sure what "memorialize" means, but it doesn't look like this thing would really have any legal force at all. (Disclaimer: IANAL) The resolution certainly doesn't indicate what would make a book "homosexually themed."

I mean, I've always thought that Kevin Henkes' Chester's Way is a homosexually themed book, yet it's a delightful and appropriate read for little kids.

Kern doesn't go far enough :-p

Sally, are you sure you're getting all the books with homosexual content? Better move all those children's Bibles out of the kid's section--all that sodomy and incest and adultery!

ERICA EHM: So what do you guys like to read on the road?

GENE SIMMONS of KISS: We'd have to say The Bible. No other book is as full of murder, death, war and incest.

-Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS, on "Between the Covers," MuchMusic's segment on rock stars' reading habits

Re:ugh, I listened

I'm a regular poster here, but because I don't believe in waving one's sexuality all over the place, I'm going to post this anonymously. Fang-Face's rundown was so good and cathartic that it merited a response.

Greg, don't you ever get tired of demonstrating that you are an idiot?

Obviously not, he does it so often. I couldn't give a damn that he's a right winger. What bothers me is his pseudoscience and closed mindedness.

Fourthly: Just where do you slot bisexuals into your narrow and bigoted world view? People who are both homo- and heterosexual at the same time?

I have to make a small correction there. From my point of view, that is, the point of view of a bisexual librarian, most bis don't consider themselves homo or hetero. We're bi. Saying that a bisexual is both homosexual and heterosexual at the same time may sound technically correct, but it's the equivalent of saying that a green car is both yellow and blue at the same time.

And for the record, I have kids.

Re:ugh, I listened

I have to make a small correction there.

Ah, danke. Time for more research, I guess.

Re:ugh, I listened

Fang - "First off: Orientation does not necessarily remain fixed throughout a person's life, and it is possible for an individual's orientation to swing several times. So someone who is homosexual today could be married and have had children from his or her heterosexual days. Moreover, since most people don't know that orientation can swing, a marriage partner can sire or bear a child after a swing to homosexuality."

Anon - "I have to make a small correction there. From my point of view, that is, the point of view of a bisexual librarian, most bis don't consider themselves homo or hetero. We're bi. Saying that a bisexual is both homosexual and heterosexual at the same time may sound technically correct, but it's the equivalent of saying that a green car is both yellow and blue at the same time."

These statements are as much statements of faith as me saying Jesus walked on water.

I'm close-minded? I'm willing to put my own beliefs out front and people can hack away as they please. Its the people who feel free to hack away at others but won't say what they themselves think that are close minded. They're too afraid someone might change it.

McCook, I'm not going to denigrate someone's accomplisments because they're gay anymore then I would because of race. On an individual level sexuality is irrelevent. The subject of homosexuality and libraries however, is an issue of society and has to be appraoched differently.

Re:ugh, I listened

These statements are as much statements of faith . . .

My statement is based on science. It is a statement of faith only in the context that I have more faith in science than I do in hatemongering trash who spout the most egregiously stupid nonsense. Keep in mind, however, that reputable science is a more accurate reflection of reality that the psuedo-science and schizophrenic world views of the ultra-right. You know; the kind of fools who threatened to burn Galileo at the stake if he didn't recant the accurate reflections of reality that he derived from observations of the sky through a telescope instead of from the Book of Genesis? Your invocation of a belief in the scientific being a statement of faith is either an equivocation, if I am feeling charitable, or an outright case of lunatic double-think if I'm not. And I'm not feeling charitable.

Re:ugh, I listened

Who's science Fang? All I see is a lot of posturing.

Re:ugh, I listened

No, it needs to be approached the same way we approach all of our patrons. Are there patrons who are GBLT? Do they have children? If you answer "yes" to both of the questions, then as a librarian I think you need to make books available that reflect their viewpoint. Both to the adults and to the children.

Re:ugh, I listened

I would say that the removal of Homosexuality as a disorder from the DSM IV is a good start.

Re:ugh, I listened

"Even an atheist would not want their child to be gay because it would mean an end of their family line."

Oh, I'm sure you can find one or two idiot atheists who would agree. I doubt that the majority of them would give it a second thought.

Opposition to homosexuality in this country is based primarily up a religious belief that homosexuals are committing a sin.

In short, keep them in ignorance until they are 18, then spring it on 'em. I'm sorry, but there are more than enough heterosexuals who are willing to have sex and also have babies. Last time I saw, no one is seriously worried that the human race is about to die out because everyone out there has suddenly decided to be gay. Since most children are born to heterosexual couples, don't you think that the day to day example of their parents living together would be stronger than any book they might look at in the library?

Lucky

The ancient Greeks are probably pretty lucky they held on as long as they did until the Christians could come along, convert them, and save them from certain extinction, huh?

Re:ugh, I listened

Nobody owns science, it belongs to all humanity. There are, however, fools who attempt to repudiate it and control it because it is inconvenient.

If, however, you mean: who did the work and where is it published, see my first message. I posted the sources, I'm not to blame if you won't look at the information for yourself.

Re:ugh, I listened

LOL being rated a troll for being middle of the road and having a hatred of extremists, I take that as a plus.

Re:ugh, I listened

"Oh, I'm sure you can find one or two idiot atheists who would agree. I doubt that the majority of them would give it a second thought."

Don't you live in Oregon? Didn't they pass a Defense of Marriage law? Apparently a majority did give it a second thought.

Nice twist on the family line bit by the way. I didn't say anything about "saving the human race" I said the family line which is a completely different subject.

Re:ugh, I listened

Rather than join in the chorus of people saying that Greg doesn't know what he's talking about, I'm going to say that *I* don't know what Greg's talking about.

if a child is born with a sexuality that would be considered inactive or ambivalent, the parent is going to want to encourage them to adopt the sexuality that matches the sex organs they were born with (imagine that). That means avoiding materials that bring that sexuality into question. When the child is 18 they can make the their own choice but poll every parent, conservative or liberal, as to how they would prefer to raise their child, hetero or homo, and they are all going to say hetero.

I don't know whether there's any research which delivers the same results as Greg's hypothetical poll, but I'm trying to raise my kid to be an intelligent, creative, and compassionate person, and sexual orientation isn't a concern. So I don't know where he gets his assumption about "every parent."

In addition, I have no idea what raising a child hetero or homo entails. My wife and I sometimes watch Judy Garland movies when our kid's in the room, and I own a guitar which looks very much like the one Melissa Etheredge played at the Grammy Awards ... does that constitute gay childrearing? Anyway, Greg's own logic dictates that pretty much every gay person was raised to be heterosexual, so a lot of folks ain't doin' it right, apparently.

I also don't understand what books which acknowledge the existence of gay people and families have to do with bringing a youngster's sexual orientation into question. When young Jacob realizes he wants to kiss cute little Michael in the 2nd row, now, that might get those questions churning. I suspect that many parents who say they want to "protect" their kids from books with "inappropriate themes" really want to protect themselves from having to talk with their kids about issues concerning sex and relationships when the *kids* want to talk about those things. (I'll admit that I'm saying this partly based on my own discomfort when I was asked during a commercial break, "Dad, what's Tampax Pearl for?")

Re:ugh, I listened

OK... yes they did. And I'm sure you have statistics to show what percentage of those that voted fo the Defense of Marriage law were atheists? One fact does not necessarily lead to the other.

OK, the Family Line. Which means just a name. I'm willing to bet that there are other relatives out there pushing out babies, so I seriously doubt that any particular family line is truly in peril.

I wouldn't care if both of my sons are gay. That's who they are. And since I love them now, that would mean that I love them because they are gay too.

Re:ugh, I listened

Well, thanks for being civil Brian.

Couple things, if Jacob was your son and he asked why he wanted to kiss Michael what would you tell him?

I don't doubt I'm as guilty as any one for hyperbole but using Judy Garland movies (Dorothy's gay?) ignores what is going on around you. We just had an incident here in Mass where a father was arrested because he was upset that they were teaching the issue of homosexuality to his child in 1st grade. You have to confront the outside forces that exist, not just what happens in the home. Also note one of Redcard's post where he doesn't just say children's books should be available about homosexuality but GBLT, which includes transgenders and every subcategory that goes with it. Yes or no, do you want a book in the picture book section titled "Daddy's Roommate Goes Dress Shopping"? (And for the record I don't consider that hyperbole)

Also think about the discussion so far, nobody wants to say or define what is homosexuality. Which means if you do take the time to talk to your child about the issue and what you tell them doesn't conform with whatever is PC at the moment then you are going to be considered a hater. The more vague they can keep the discussion the more they can just say that those who disagree are just religous fanatics.

You say I think most gays were raised heterosexual but in fact I don't believe that. The fact is I don't know about 'most'. Human nature is pretty diverse. Two people can behave the same but how they came to that behavior can be quite different. I know a gay man who, to my knowledge, had a pretty normal upbringing and in fact had a number of heterosexual relationships but considers himself gay. I watched the Catholic sexual abuse scandal unfold here in Mass. and I have to believe that some of the victims who are now homosexual probably weren't born that way. To me this is a good example of nature vs nurture. And if you are faced with the question above, if your child asks you this question are you going to trust to nature and assume that all outside forces are irrelevent or are you going to choose nurture and assume the responsibility that goes with that?

politics and DarwinRe:ugh, I listened

I don't have stats on atheists voting but considering Oregon is a red state it undercuts the arguement that its a heavily religous issue. Not that Dems aren't religous but they seem very intent on seperating religion from the voting booth.

No, its not just a name, its genes. Its in our nature to want to have children, to want to make copies of ourselves and for them to make copies of themselves, in a sense carrying us through time.

Who's asking you to not love your kids? Who's saying that gay people should be hated? The question is how do you want to influence your children and how do you want your children to be influenced?

Where's the reality?

Come on folks. Next thing the lawmakers will say is that Pooh should be banned because he and Piglet were a little to friendly towards each other and that young Master Christopher did wear odd shoes.

Libraries are supposed to be a place to find information. It shouldn't be a place for selected information in certain spots. Let the catalogers do what they do best and put the books in the right place!

--------------------------

Re:politics and DarwinRe:ugh, I listened

I have no desire to influence my children's sexuality. Zip. Zero. Zilch. They will be what they are. I don't believe you can influence it anyway. If it were possible, how is it that there have always been homosexuals and bis among us, even though

Yes, and if the desire to procreate is as strong as you say it is, I don't think it is going to be challenged in the least by kids viewing books that portray homosexuality in a benign and positive light. Books that are written for younger kids don't even discuss the sexual act at all. So where is the danger?

John Kerry came out against "marriage" for gays because to him it was a religious issue. In this state we are now debating whether to extend marriage rights to Gays through civil unions. That is much more receptive to many because it takes the religious (marriage) issue out of it.

Resistence to full civil liberties for homosexuals is almost exclusively based upon religion, or residual fears that had been originally fanned by religion.

I think you meant to say that Oregon is a Blue State.

Re:ugh, I listened

Couple things, if Jacob was your son and he asked why he wanted to kiss Michael what would you tell him?

"Go ask your mother." Seriously, I'm not sure what I'd say, but don't you think that this "why?" question would indicate that some external forces -- i.e., socialization that gay=bad -- have been at work? That is, Jacob is really seeking confirmation that he's not a bad person. There'd need to be Q&A, not just me "telling" him something. I suspect that my main (and unspoken) concern would be that my kid not get the crap continually beaten out of him, or worse, for the remainder of his youth.

We just had an incident here in Mass where a father was arrested because he was upset that they were teaching the issue of homosexuality to his child in 1st grade.

I'm not sure that's an accurate description of the incident. A book with a shocking and outrageous presentation of the "issue of homosexuality" was sent home as an option for parents to share with their children. [A lesbian is washing a dog! A gay man is making dinner! These homosexuals are behaving like normal people! Will the horrors never cease?] It looks quite a bit like this guy got himself arrested as a publicity stunt for an activist group. He asked the school to promise something impossible -- along the lines that his kid wouldn't be exposed to even spontaneous talk about homosexuality (including, apparently, the factual observation that families with same-sex parents exist) -- and the school wouldn't agree. So he wouldn't leave and let himself be arrested for tresspassing, with his wife taking pictures that went up on the group's website.

Yes or no, do you want a book in the picture book section titled "Daddy's Roommate Goes Dress Shopping"? (And for the record I don't consider that hyperbole)

I'd have to see the book first. If it's like a lot of "diversity" books, it would probably be a piece of crap. But it just might be entertaining and well-done. The title's pretty funny. I do guarantee you that by the end of the year, hundreds of libraries in the U.S. will have a critically acclaimed, animated family film on DVD which features a transgendered (though non-human) character. And fart jokes.

You say I think most gays were raised heterosexual but in fact I don't believe that. The fact is I don't know about 'most'. Human nature is pretty diverse.

Well, I don't know what you think, but you did say:

Homosexuals cannot have children, its one of the problems with being homosexual. Its also one of the reasons why there's more to the issue than just religion. Even an atheist would not want their child to be gay because it would mean an end of their family line. ...
When the child is 18 they can make the their own choice but poll every parent, conservative or liberal, as to how they would prefer to raise their child, hetero or homo, and they are all going to say hetero.

If I was wrong to read into that the implication that just about all people (including gays) are raised straight (again, whatever that means, since I still have no idea), I apologize. Now, regarding ...

Also think about the discussion so far, nobody wants to say or define what is homosexuality. Which means if you do take the time to talk to your child about the issue and what you tell them doesn't conform with whatever is PC at the moment then you are going to be considered a hater. The more vague they can keep the discussion the more they can just say that those who disagree are just religous fanatics.

... Don't you think that the OK House Resolution would've been a great place to see a definition of what a "homosexually themed" book is? What's your theory on why the OK House kept things so vague?

Re:ugh, I listened

"Go ask your mother." Seriously, I'm not sure what I'd say, but don't you think that this "why?" question would indicate that some external forces -- i.e., socialization that gay=bad -- have been at work? That is, Jacob is really seeking confirmation that he's not a bad person. There'd need to be Q&A, not just me "telling" him something. I suspect that my main (and unspoken) concern would be that my kid not get the crap continually beaten out of him, or worse, for the remainder of his youth.

Anything is possible but the scenario is given to find your reaction not the child's. That kids are cruel is hardly news and the cruelty is hardly limited to issues of sexuality.

I'm not sure that's an accurate description of the incident. A book with a shocking and outrageous presentation of the "issue of homosexuality" was sent home as an option for parents to share with their children. [A lesbian is washing a dog! A gay man is making dinner! These homosexuals are behaving like normal people! Will the horrors never cease?] It looks quite a bit like this guy got himself arrested as a publicity stunt for an activist group. He asked the school to promise something impossible -- along the lines that his kid wouldn't be exposed to even spontaneous talk about homosexuality (including, apparently, the factual observation that families with same-sex parents exist) -- and the school wouldn't agree. So he wouldn't leave and let himself be arrested for tresspassing, with his wife taking pictures that went up on the group's website.

Belittle if you want but the only way a 'spontaneous' talk about homosexuality is coming up in 1st grade is if the teacher brings it up. And again you're not acknowledging the contentiousness of the issue and that to push a children's book that tries to influence the debate onto a child to go against their own parents is pretty subversive.

I'd have to see the book first.

Oh brother. Where the view comes from that any topic can be covered for any age as long as its well written I have no idea but to be honest its pretty dumb. There are some things that just don't need to be covered in grade school, men in dresses is one of them.

I do guarantee you that by the end of the year, hundreds of libraries in the U.S. will have a critically acclaimed, animated family film on DVD which features a transgendered (though non-human) character.

I'm guessing Robin Williams in Robots.

If I was wrong to read into that the implication that just about all people (including gays) are raised straight (again, whatever that means, since I still have no idea), I apologize.

Do you really not know? Or even have an idea? If you had a son did you buy him guy stuff? If you had a daughter did you buy her girl stuff? We send very clear signals from birth that boys and girls are different. I suppose what we have lost over time is teaching the responsibilities that go with each but the differences are still very distinct.

... Don't you think that the OK House Resolution would've been a great place to see a definition of what a "homosexually themed" book is? What's your theory on why the OK House kept things so vague?

Welcome to government in action. But you know what? I've been pretty open about what my own personal theories are so I'm not going to feel responsible for what others do. How about you cough up your own definition? And while you're at it you've had time to think about what you'd want to get across to Jacob, whether its a 'tell' or a 'Q&A', are you going to let him think he's gay or set him straight, so to speak.

Syndicate content