Peter Coyl

Some Hood County residents want LGBT children’s books removed from the library and some Plano parents want those books reshelved in a different section that would make them less accessible to children, according to a report on 90.1 KERA-fm.

Hood County is the same county where County Clerk Katie Lang put up such a valiant effort last week to defy the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

What KERA didn’t point out is that a few citizens can’t censor a library. That’s been ruled unconsitutional.

KERA spoke to Peter Coyl, the Dallas Public Library district manager. Coyl served for two years on the Stonewall Book Awards committee. Last year he chaired the committee.

Coyl explained to KERA why the library carries books about LGBT families in ever-so-tactful terms. What he didn’t say was that if parents are concerned with what their children are reading and taking out of the library, they should accompany their damn children to the library themselves. He also didn’t mention that the Oak Lawn and North Oak Cliff branches of the Dallas Public Library house one of the largest LGBT collections in the country.

And something KERA left out of its report is a court case that originated in Wichita Falls. Members of that North Texas community wanted to hold a book burning because their library carried Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy’s Roommate.

The Wichita Falls City Council voted four to three to remove the books from the children’s section and place them in the adult section.

Judge Jerry Buchmeyer found this unconstitutional in Sund v. City of Wichita Falls. He said the resolution gave 300 people with library cards the right to censor the library.

“This opinion holds that this unique Resolution is unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 8 of the Texas Constitution,” Buchmeyer wrote.

Buchmeyer is the same judge who ruled the Texas sodomy law unconstitutional in 1982 in Baker v. Wade. That ruling was overturned in 1985, but Buchmeyer was vindicated in 2003 with Lawrence v. Texas.