Republican Lawmakers to Library: Put Those Gay Books Back in the Closet

The West Fargo Public Library posted this photo of a display of LGBT books on its Facebook page, igniting controversy. Special to The Forum

Apparently because they didn’t have anything better to do, a couple of Republican lawmakers from West Fargo got their skirts up over their heads because of a display at the local public library promoting LGBT-themed books.

From the Fargo Forum:

The library mounted the display of 24 books on LGBT topics in early August in anticipation of the Fargo-Moorhead Pride celebration, which was held Aug. 10-13. The library also posted a photo of the display on its Facebook page, promoting it and another display on books about people of color with the phrase, “Looking for the perfect last days of summer read?”

“I find it very surprising that the West Fargo Public Library would choose to showcase a display promoting these types of materials regarding human sexuality,” state Rep. Christopher Olson, who represents a West Fargo district in the Legislature, told the Forum.

Olson was joined in his dissent against the books by Rep. Ben Koppleman, also of West Fargo.

According to the Forum report, neither Koppelman nor Olson object to the library having the books. They just don’t want them advertised, I guess.

More offensive to me than any book about homosexuals is a couple of politicians pressuring a library into not displaying those books.

Which is like telling the homosexual community that it’s ok to be gay as long as you stay in the closet.

Here’s a news flash for the lawmakers: People in the LGBT community read books and use libraries too. What’s more, people who aren’t in the LGBT community are interested in books about that lifestyle and culture. For the sake of learning and understanding.

I’m among that latter group.

The West Fargo Public Library was making an effort to serve all members of the public. A topical one, given the Pride celebrations in the region.

I understand that some people, even in 2017, have a moral issue with homosexuality. That’s fine. It’s a free country.

But that “free country” thing cuts both ways. The price of admission to a free society is the understanding that you’re going to be exposed to some things you might not like.

More offensive to me than any book about homosexuals is a couple of politicians pressuring a library into not displaying those books.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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