Sydney Council Bans LGBTQ+ Parenting Books From Libraries

The Cumberland City Council in Sydney Australia is making headlines after they voted to ban same-sex parenting books from eight public libraries throughout the city.

Introducing the Amendment

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The amenment to the city guidelines was introduced as an by the former mayor and current councelor Steve Christou who says he received multiple complaints from parents in the community.

Making It Clear

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When presenting the amendment, Chrisou said, “We’re going to make it clear tonight that … these kind of books, same-sex parents books, don’t find their way to our kids.”

Protecting Children

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Christou argued that the ban would be implemented in order to protect children from being “sexualized” by the content of same-sex parenting books.

Community Values

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Christou also argued that the ban reflects the values of the community because they prefer a more traditional, religious, and family-oriented lifestyle.

Controversial Issues in the Library

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Christou said “This community is a very religious community, a very family-orientated community. They don’t want such controversial issues going against their beliefs indoctrinated to their libraries.”

Banning “Same-Sex Parents”

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One book that has been taken off shelves and become a focal point for those opposing the ban is “Same-Sex Parents,” part of a series that explores and explains various types of families for children aged 5-7.

Teaching Inclusivity and Love

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In the book, children are encouraged to use inclusivty and love, while also being taught that many people oppose same-sex relationships, but the the majority of people support these couples.

Erasing LGBTQ+Families

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Legal experts are reacting harshly to the decision, with Equality Australia’s Legal Director, Ghassan Kassisieh, arguing that the decision was in fact an attempt to erase LGBTQ+ families.

Cherished and Loved

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Kassisieh said, “Children in rainbow families are cherished and loved. Councillors who say otherwise fuel bigotry that makes their lives harder, not easier.”

Disgraceful Acts 

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Kassisieh continued, “This book is part of an age-appropriate series about different types of families, some of which may have two mums or two dads. The attempt to erase these families from library shelves is disgraceful, as is any suggestion they are anything other than loving and nurturing environments for kids.”

Denying Others the Chance 

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Kassisieh concluded his statement by saying, “If you don’t want to borrow the book, you don’t have to, but don’t deny others the chance to access books that reflect modern family life in Australia in 2024.”

Monitoring Library Materials

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Since the decisions has received so much blowback, Christou has since come out to say that the ban was not specifically anti-LGBTQ+ but meant to prevent any form of “sexualization” in library materials.

Councilors Speaking Out

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On the Cumberland City Council, there has also been councilors who have spoken out against the ban and say many of the books affected by the ban are not actually sexual.

Age Appropriate Books

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One such counilor is the Mayor Lisa Lake who felt the content of these books were age-appropriate and unjustly taken off the shelves.

Appalled and Saddened

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Mayor Lake said, “I am appalled and saddened by this decision. We work really hard at council to foster a spirit of inclusion and talk about everybody feeling welcome. As long as parents are loving families, that’s what’s important.”

A Dangerous Path

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Arts Minister John Graham also spoke out on the situation, accusing the council of censorship and warning that banning books is a dangerous path to take.

A Very Bad Sign

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Graham said, “When civilizations turn to burning books or banning books it is a very bad sign. That is equally true for local councils. It is up to readers to choose which book to take off the shelf.”

Losing Funding for the Library

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The Anti-Discrimination Board has already been contacted about the banned books, and if they determine this is a case of discrimination the library could lose federal funding.

Up to the Local Councillors

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Graham went on to say, “It should not be up to local councillors to make that choice for them or engage in censorship. We are examining the consequences this decision may have for the council continuing to receive library funding from the NSW government.”

The post Sydney Council Bans LGBTQ+ Parenting Books From Libraries first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

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