Michigan Public Library canceled for LGBTQ books loses vote again, may close

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A voting committee yes passed over $12,000 to drum up support for the library, with nifty fliers and a Grand Rapids PR firm coordinating a text message campaign.

Still, the mileage vote lost hands down on Tuesday and three library board candidates approved by a non-campaign vote were elected.

Dean Smith, chairman of the township’s planning commission and treasurer of the Vote No campaign, told Bridge last week that he wanted library board members to have “a more Judeo-Christian” and that he would prefer that there were no accessible LGBTQ-themed books. to children or young adults.

The composition of the library board, which had recently voted to keep controversial books in its collection, will now be split 3-3 between members who want the books available and members who want them removed or have restricted access. .

Debbie Mikula, executive director of the Michigan Library Association, said Wednesday she was “disheartened” by the vote. “They’re going to have to weigh a lot of options on what’s ahead of them, and it’s up to them locally.”

Walton said the current plan is for the library to try again to earn operational mileage in August 2024, just months before Walton says the library is expected to run out of money.

The community of 10,000 is conservative even for a county considered one of Michigan’s most conservative, favoring former President Donald Trump by a 76-21% margin in 2020.

Some residents worry that exposure to LGBTQ-themed books, especially those that are detailed in their descriptions or illustrations of sex acts, could “prepare” children to become gay.

Jamestown resident Amanda Ensing, organizer of a Facebook group fighting against books, told Bridge in August that library staff are “trying to groom our children to believe that it’s OK to have these sinful desires. .. This is not a political question, it is a biblical problem”. publish.”

But Salem Sousley, who identified as non-binary and lives near the library, said it was important for young people trying to understand their sexuality to see characters from books going through the same struggles.

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