Idaho man takes battle over gay library books to city council

Posted on 18 May 2006 at 11:45pm
By Associated Press

NAMPA, Idaho After twice being rejected by the Nampa Public Library Board, a Nampa man has asked the Nampa City Council to remove “The Joy of Sex” and “The Joy of Gay Sex” from library shelves.

The council on Monday took no action, but told Randy Jackson and about 15 of his supporters that the Library Board will reconsider.

“We have a lot of kids in there,” said Nampa Mayor Tom Dale. “We need to have a safe place for them.”

Jackson said the 15-year-old son of a friend told him the books were there, and when Jackson went to the library last fall he found them.

The instructional books contain drawings and photos of sexual activity. The book also gives descriptions of various sex acts.

After finding the books, he sent a letter to the Library Board in January, but was told the books would remain.

He appealed later in the winter to have the books removed or have them moved where children couldn’t get to them.

The board unanimously decided the books would stay. Library Board Chairman Sharon Brooks said the decision was “based on the principle of freedom of information rather than that book.”

“We want to be a neutral provider for both a social and political role, to meet the needs of a diverse group of in our community,” she told the Idaho Press-Tribune after the meeting. “We are open to working with the public, with the council.”

Bryan Fischer of the Idaho Values Alliance, who supports Jackson, said removing “The Joy of Gay Sex” from the library is not censorship, but selectivity.

“Libraries can’t stock every book in print,” he said, “so they make decisions every day based on content and suitability.”

The Library Board is scheduled to next meet on June 12. Councilman Stephen Kren will represent the council at the meeting, Dale said.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, May 19, 2006.

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