Thursday, July 23, 2009

This Week In Intolerance

Book burnings? Really? Sadly, when it comes to library books that don’t portray GLBT folks as demons, yes:
Ginny Maziarka, 49, said the books in the section of the library aimed at children aged 12 to 18 included homosexual and heterosexual content she thought was inappropriate for youths.

She and her husband also asked the library to obtain books about homosexuality that affirmed heterosexuality, such as titles written by "ex-gays," Maziarka said.

"All the books in the young-adult zone that deal with homosexuality are gay-affirming. That's not balance," she said.


Outside West Bend, the fight caught the attention of Robert Braun, who, with three other Milwaukee-area men, filed a claim against West Bend calling for one of the library's books to be publicly burned, along with financial damages.

The four plaintiffs -- who describe themselves as "elderly" in their complaint --- claim their "mental and emotional well-being was damaged by [the] book at the library."

The claim, unconnected to the Maziarkas, says the book "Baby Be-bop" -- a fictional piece about a homosexual teenager -- is "explicitly vulgar, racial and anti-Christian."

Braun, who says he is president of a Milwaukee group called the Christian Civil Liberties Union, said he singled out the book because it "goes way over the line" with offensive language and descriptions of sex acts.

So, just to recap: A Wisconsin mom wants to remove books about gays from the young adult section of her public library because they don’t portray gays as having some kind of disorder.

Meanwhile, some old farts who don’t even live in that town claim to have been so traumatized by one of the books in the library that they want it to be burned and they are suing for damages.

Let’s be even more clear: West Bend, where the library is located, is in Washington County, “an hour’s drive north of Milwaukee.”

Braun lives in West Allis, in Milwaukee County, which is just west of downtown Milwaukee. Not very close to West Bend, at all. I’m wondering if he couldn’t be emotionally damaged by some library books a little closer to home?

However, I did learn that West Allis is home to the International Clown Hall Of Fame. I think they have a new member to induct.