Oklahoma House Votes 60-33 to Segregate Books

As reported in the Daily Oklahoman [free registration required], The Oklahoma House of Representatives has approved HB2158, which will require all Oklahoma libraries to pull books with "homosexual" and "sexually explicit" subject matter from the children's and young adult collections. I've reported on this before [2/10, 3/11, 3/11, 3/15]. For a sense of what the debate looks like, this is a quote from the sponsor of the bill:

"Libraries and librarians should not be usurping the role of parents," Kern said. "You can't sell toothpaste without sex. Our society is obsessed with sex. And I will tell you this, the American Library Association is out to sexualize our children."

And here's another opinion:

Rep. Glen Bud Smithson, D-Sallisaw, opposed the bill because it doesn't give libraries an appeals process to fight a loss of funding. He likened the bill to legislation Osama bin Laden likely would support, saying "that is the way they do it over there. They teach them what they want to teach them and nothing else."

The bill goes on to the Senate now.

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oh....

"Libraries and librarians should not be usurping the role of parents," Kern said. "You can't sell toothpaste without sex. Our society is obsessed with sex. And I will tell you this, the American Library Association is out to sexualize our children."Good lord. Can I have that on a t-shirt?"The American Library Association. Turning your children into sex machines since 1876."

Re:oh....

Talk to cafepress. I'd buy one.

Isn't this usurping my role as a parent?

"Libraries and librarians should not be usurping the role of parents..."Aren't legislators, libraries and librarians who require material to be segregated, banned or otherwise censored usurping the role of parents?I don't like the idea that someone else gets to decide what material is appropriate or inappropriate for my child. I don't like the idea that a public library will have the appearance of endorsing the notion that some people and/or some families are not equal or valued by pulling material with "homosexual" subject matter. I don't like the idea that young adults will not have access to age appropriate health information, simply because it is "sexually explicit" (I am assuming that they would put a title like "It's Perfectly Normal" in this category.)Who are the legislators proposing will decide exactly what "homosexual" or "sexually explicit" content will be removed? Are they going to come up with a list of titles?

Re:Isn't this usurping my role as a parent?

Who are the legislators proposing will decide exactly what "homosexual" or "sexually explicit" content will be removed? Are they going to come up with a list of titles?
In fact, that's exactly what they are going to do. The legislative leadership will select an advisory committee consisting of two Representatives, two Senators, four parents of children under 18, and four teachers (public or private school). This committee will produce a list of items to be segregated.

Sheesh, worse than I thought

I read the bill and it is super wacko. Expecting libraries to limit the material to adults only? Talk about an back-assward bill.I wonder what the chances of it passing the Senate unamended and getting signed by the OK governor are; fairly low I bet.

Horse's Ass du jour

"Libraries and librarians should not be usurping the role of parents," Kern said. "You can't sell toothpaste without sex. Our society is obsessed with sex. And I will tell you this, the American Library Association is out to sexualize our children."

Oh, no fear, there; kids will sexualize themselves just as soon as the hormones kick in. And that's gonna happen no matter how hysterically censormorons and religious fanatics scream about it or suppress information about it.

God created sex, or allowed it to evolve. He created or evolved sexual creatures when he created or allowed to evolve creatures more complex than the paramecium and the hydra. I don't for the life of me think that God created or allowed to evolve sex as something sinful, or dirty. It is only the small minds of fanatics that make it so.

Of course, I'm perfectly willing to allow these quaking luantics to turn themselves back into amoeba.

Yeah, sex is everywhere. Just like -- I dunno, . . . oxygen? And ain't it terrible how oxygen is. Letting fire burn; rusting and tarnishing. It's even poisonous under high enough pressure. Hell, as long as the human species is expected to give up sex and survive, why don't we give up oxygen too?

And the Oklahoma Library Association says....

Nothing. Nor does the ALA in the time leading up to this legislation at least as far as their websites demonstrate. The OLA has an "OLA on the Issues" section. It is opposed to the USA PATRIOT Act (3/28/2003) and they Support Libraries (5/25/99) but I see no discussion of the law referenced in the newspaper article.

If the public was seeking the OLA's input on pending legislation they get nothing. The bowling league at the place down the street from my house has more current information on its website.

OLA is not alone in this, the FLA is not much better. I have submitted a list of pending legislation ( available at http://oneil.cx/WP/addeddocs/FloridaLibraryBills.p df ) but I don't see any of the topics on the FLA webpage. They have some pervert identification to library staff bill, but the state library association is not discussing it. What are they waiting for, the legislature to vote on it.

Re:Sheesh, worse than I thought

In an election year (and aren't they all election years any more?) Senators are unlikely to vote against the bill for fear of it being used against them in campaign ads. Same is true of our Democratic governor, Brad Henry. Librarians are pinning their hopes on the bill dying in committee or being set aside for pocket veto.

Re:And the Oklahoma Library Association says....

In another story I read about the issue, I saw that representatives of the OLA did speak out against the bill in testimony, but it would be nice if their website reflected something.

Re:And the Oklahoma Library Association says....

I would assume OLA wanted to wait to see what the destination for the bill is in the Senate before saying too much.I would be expecting a press release from them soon.

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