Paternal Penguins Pique Parents, ALA's Most Challenged Book


Paternal Penguins Pique Parents (story from the New York Times)

And Tango Makes Three, an award-winning children's book based on the true story of two male penguins who reared a baby penguin stands atop the American Library Association's annual list of works that drew the most complaints from parents, library patrons and others, The Associated Press reported. Published in 2005, the book by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, with illustrations by Henry Cole (Simon & Schuster), was named one of that year's best by the association.

But some parents and educators complained that it advocated homosexuality. In all, the number of books challenged last year was 546, compared with 406 in 2005, but low in contrast to the figures recorded in the mid-1990s, when challenges exceeded 750 a year. The American Library Association defines a challenge as a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.

Other books on the 2006 list included the Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison's Bluest Eye and her Pulitzer Prize-winning Beloved both challenged for language and sexual content. Judith Krug, director of the association's Office for Intellectual Freedom, said 30 books were banned last year.


SafeLibraries is not against homosexuality or the penguin book. It is against the very material the US Supreme Court is against in the Pico case and the US v. ALA case. Therefore, unless you think the US Supreme Court is prejudiced, SafeLibraries is not prejudiced.

Now in the news today someone wrote threats to the schools that are now being investigated by the police. Do not lump SafeLibraries into that category.


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I thought I have, three times. I honestly do not understand you if I have not answered your question. It appears that you are purposefully goading me to get some kind of desired reaction. Sorry. I stick to the law. Personal attack advances nothing and is not my style, although anyone can see it is your style.

You can scream it until the heavens crack but it won't change the fact that you haven't answered my question.

And Tango Makes three is not a problem to me. That it the third time I have said that, though not in so many words. Please remove your claws now.


Say what, now? I've asked you to address the issue on no less than three occasions, and you have not once made any overture to answer the question: Was And Tango Makes Three subjected to a review process and found to contain material that is, in fact, unsuitable to an educational milieu, or was it removed because it admits of homosexuality?

It's a very simple question that can be answered with an objective "yes" or "no". Why do you refuse to provide an answer? Why, for that matter, do you insist on attempting to divert the discussion into the irrelevant?

I think I'll stop responding to you, Fang-face. You are one of those people who care more for mud slinging than for addressing the issues.

The indications are that you are not following the SCOTUS rulings upholding freedom of speech, expression, and information. One more time: Was And Tango Makes Three subjected to a review process and found to contain material that is, in fact, unsuitable to an educational milieu, or was it removed because it admits of homosexuality? If the latter, then this is a clear and present case of censorship. That is the issue under discussion in this thread.

And it is not an ad hominem attack to state well observed facts about human behaviour. Referring to yourself in the third person as you do, is generally a sign of megalomania.

I am not gay (although I have certainly tapped my foot in a mens room, jingled my keys and whistled - probably all at the same time so I am either gay or I should run for the Senate). So I am no expert here, but I thought the whole gay thing was more mental and emotional than physical.

Sure penguins can do the horizontal mambo penguin style with penguins of the same gender, but do they want to spend the rest of their lives with them, do they want to have rights of survivorship in real property, do they want to be able to file their taxes as a couple.

I think any sentient being can probably enjoy sex with another of the same gender, heck any sentient being can probably enjoy it with a grapefruit if the chihuahua next door is any example, however I think there is a consciousness about being gay - not that it a conscious choice- but more than a 'hey this feels good' sort of thing. I don't think animals have that sense of consciousness, that is also why I don't think animals worry about paying the electric bill next week or terrorists blowing up buildings. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering I think any couple should be able to inherit real property and file income tax as a couple. You know the whole do unto others & it could be me sort of thing.

I do think my cat might be a Democrat though.

Before you go to far with that animals can't be gay line you might want to see this: 02/07/>

Really, you appear not to have read my response. I said SafeLibraries has no problem with homosexuality and no problem with the penguin book. Simply put, homosexuality is not our issue. And I never said I was the SCOTUS. All I said was that SafeLibraries seeks whatever the SCOTUS rules in 2 different cases regarding the ALA pushing inappropriate metarial on children despite the law and despite the community. I see no problem at all with claiming the goal is to see that SCOTUS cases are respected, not discarded. I do not understand why you think it is bad that I choose to follow the SCOTUS. But people reading this, strap in your seatbelts, I'm sure "Fang-face" will wield another doozey of an ad hominem argument.

SafeLibraries certainly seems to be megalomaniac and SafeLibraries needs to stop taking himself so seriously. And as with the difference between protected pornography and proscribable obscenity, a book cannot be summarily condemned but must undergo a review process to determine whether or not it is suitable or unsuitable.

Further more, SafeLibraries has failed to answer the question posed above, which question is central to the issue under discussion: Does And Tango Makes Three contain language or situations which might render it unsuitable or was it challenged simply because it deals with homosexuality? If SafeLibraries is not going to answer that question then SafeLibraries's protestations about his Pureness of Heart are suspect and not credible.

SafeLibraries has also, again, committed a fallacy of division; and thrown a non-sequitur into the mix as well. SafeLibraries is not the U.S. Supreme Court and could very well be a raving bigot even if the U.S. Supreme Court is or is not, because SafeLibraries is an entirely separate entity.

How do you get to a point in your life when you can look in a mirror and say "I am spending my time, as a grown man (or woman), waging the war on gay penguins"?

Does this happen overnight? Like if you fall asleep in front of a tv tuned to the 700 Club?

My arguments are not moot regardless of what the school did, and if the school apologized then it almost certainly caved in to a censorial demand. Secondly, does Tango Makes Three contain the kind of vulgar language to which you allude, or was it challenged because it admits of homosexuality? Thirdly, school policies against vulgar language are totally ineffective in shielding students from that language; they know those words anyway. Fourthly, such books are suitable from an education point of view because they describe situations that take happen inside and outside of school, and they are useful in teaching young adults that they are not alone in what they are going through, and what they can do about it if they should find themselves in such a situation. Fifthly, as I pointed out in my original statements, censormorons do not apply the term "suitable" in the way the Supreme Court intended it to be applied. What they find unsuitable is anything that does not pander to their prejudices, in this case someone's anti-homosexuality hysteria.

No, I don't want the ALA's view of things, rather, I want the truth.

The ALA's view is that nothing nowhere is ever inappropriate for children, and it clings to this view despite losing big in US v. ALA and despite what the Court said there and in Bd. of Educ. v. Pico, 1982. Indeed one particular book about a father raping his daughter and his resultant granddaughter and the daughter in a threesome, baby still in Pampers, and the mother forcing the girl to perform oral sex on the mother when the mother catches them in the act, was determined to be for children grades 11 and up on one ALA page and also for children of all ages on another ALA page. Really, this is not a matter of other people's opinions. Even the ALA itself recommends different levels of access depending on which page on the ALA site you are seeing. Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger.

So even the ALA recommends keeping the book from children, at least on one of its pages. So is the ALA "banning" books?

Huh? Suitability is a word I used directly from Board of Education v. Pico, SCOTUS, 1982. A book loaded with hundreds of uses of language the school itself has policies against using on school grounds is quite likely violating the schools own policy and is educationally unsuitable. The school's policy, not mine. Further, the school has already admitted it was wrong and has apologized. So your arguments are moot.

If you really want the information there's tons of it at the ALA Banned Books Week site>.

"Suitability" is a specious excuse censormorons seize upon to engage in content and viewpoint discrimination. In such a person's point of view: "Of course anything that does not pander to my prejudices is not suitable for education." I'm willing to bet that the thirty titles challenged could not be proven to actually be unsuitable by a review committee of reasonable people.

And by the way, SafeLibraries, you seem to be engaged in fallacies of both division and composition. Just because freedom of speech and expression is codified at the federal level, that does not mean there can be no violations of such freedoms at the local level, or that because the freedoms are principly protected at the local level, they cannot be violated at the federal level.

Krug said 30 books were actually banned last year. Really? This is the US of A. What books were banned? Why no nationwide public outcry? Note, removing books from public schools for lack of educational suitability is not book banning according to the US Supreme Court in Board of Educ. v. Pico, 1982.

So can someone point out the 30 books banned last year in the USA and all the national newspaper stories decrying the banning of books?

Thank you.

10 points for snark

Cuz how the heck else can you deal with the barmy?

"OMG, Penguins made me gay!"

And it was all a sneaky lefty conspiracy to turn our God-fearing nation into a buggering band of homosexuals via subliminal, cute animal-love.

We're doomed people, DOOOOOOOMED!

If we encourage two male penguins to raise a penguin chick without a womyn penguin it you know what it will lead to.

We will have penguins in airport bathrooms tapping their little patent leather tuxedo pumps on the floor signaling other penguins that they want to engage in an illicit assignation. There will be wingtips poking out from under the stalls and toes tapping, and penguin keychains jingling every time we go to use the public comfort station.

Every airport mens' room would turn into a Zoo!

Animals cannot be gay, sorry you religious nutjobs it is not possible.

That actually answered every question I had asked.

Huzzah, sir.

Please note that I'm responding to a fairly hostile post that challenges the humanity, maturity and intelligence of Christians, a post that is scoring a high and mighty "2" despite its fact-less, casual impudence. Nevertheless, I expect my response will earn the obligatory "troll" rating and a lot of intolerant whining....

You ask how one gets to the point of protesting poor wittle Tango and his two daddies. One gets to that point when as a grownup (who actually grew up and had children) one realize that the left cadre in your child's government-run school is determined to propagandize your six-year-old about homosexuality. And will do so in a cowardly, dishonest and manipulative way, using cute and cuddly props.

Past comments indicate that many librarians who post on LISNews are quite put off by the notions of parental rights (common law for the last 1,000 years or so), and traditional Judeo-Christian values (3,500+ years), as well as the novel idea that government schools should teach the basics and leave out the social engineering.

So I likewise am repelled...that a twisted version of what defines a family has "captured the discourse" in childrens and YA books, films, television, music etc. Not an ordained covenant with God, the commiting of two opposites to become one in order to bear and then protect children. Nope, it's all just luuuv, luuuv, luuuv, just any old love, with as much strength to it as loving a bowl of ice cream.

I love you,
You love me,
We're a happy family,
with a great big hug,
and a kiss from me to you,
Won't you say you love,
me TOO!

One more thing, Chuck. If you think smirks (stupid 700 Clubbers) and mau-mauing are going to neutralize angry parents...try messing with a mother penguin's chick. Or better yet, take a cub away from from a mother bear so you can give it a great big enlightened and tolerant hug.

Hope you put on your running shoes first!