Friday, October 03, 2008

Libraries should not cave in to the anti-gay industry in book selections

The anti-gay industry has taken an interesting approach to getting their opinions heard. They are now attacking libraries for daring to have standards:

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.

The article also says:

"the collection should support the diverse interests, needs and viewpoints of the school community." But library officials said donated and purchased books alike are evaluated by the same standards, including two positive reviews from professionally recognized journals.

None of the donated titles met that standard, said Susan Thornily, coordinator of library information services for Fairfax schools. Some librarians also said that the nonfiction books were heavy on scripture but light on research, or that the books would make gay students "feel inferior," she said.

I’m usually not one for censorship but I am for standards. And I have a hard time believing that anything put out about the lgbt community by the anti-gay industry or their allies belong in a public library without extreme scrutiny on its credibility.

The anti-gay industry has a track record of relying bad research (Paul Cameron) or distorting legitimate research (i.e. Elizabeth Saewyc, Robert Spitzer, Patrick Letellier, Robert Garafalo, Carol Gilligan, Lisa Waldner, Joanne Hall, Francis Collins, etc. )

And this track record of lies should not be ignored simply because the anti-gay industry was able to find enough guillible students and their parents to try and play a game of semantics.

These are the inferences I got from the press conference :

“Why are we being censored?”

“I thought libraries for free speech”

“I thought gays were supposed to be tolerant.”

All that’s missing was the louding weeping, elaborate fainting, and the bloodhounds snapping at their rear ends.

Sorry but I am also not buying this phony appeal for “tolerance” pushed by Dobson, LaBarbera and their allies.

And frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing a full listing of these books they are pushing. We aren’t talking about mere tolerance here; we are talking about the possible codification of lies.

I don’t think a book should be included in a library’s selection simply because a group holds a press conference and sidesteps the issues of accuracy by appealing to emotions and religious beliefs

When choosing books, libraries should always adhere to high standards and the highest of all of these are veracity, or truth.

Or more to the point, would libraries have to allow books by David Duke to be carried simply because some parents feel there are too many “pro black” books on the shelves?

**Note - one of the books is Marriage on Trial: The Case Against Same-Sex Marriage and Parenting. I may try and find a copy of it and see how many distortions I can link via my Anti-Gay Lies and Liars timeline.