Library Pulls Queer Anthology, Leaves Joy Of Sex

A New Jersey mom (and Glenn Beck supporter) has successfully gotten Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology removed from a public library — because, of course, gay sex is "obscene."

Jillian Rayfield of TPMMuckracker writes that Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie, has been described as "the first creative resource by and for queer and questioning youth of every color, class, religion, gender and ability." But to Beverly Marinelli, a member of Glenn Beck's 9.12 Project, it's "pervasively vulgar, obscene, and inappropriate." And the Burlington County Library Commission agrees — they've removed the book from circulation on the grounds that it's "child pornography." Marinelli got a local high school to pull the book as well. The grounds? Sections like this one:

I learned the truth about Santa Claus and masturbation in the same year. I was 9. I had a hunch about Santa, but I had no clue about masturbation. I mean, I had no clue there was anything wrong with it. As far as I know, I've been masturbating my whole life. But it wasn't until 9 that I realized it was an impulse that you had to turn off. Especially in class. Fourth grade craft time taught me shame.

Clearly we must protect the children from learning that masturbation is possible and Santa Claus isn't real. Also at issue was an illustration of two Boy Scouts watching two men have sex. While this might not be an appropriate visual aid for, say, a Boy Scout meeting, is an illustration of sex isn't beyond the pale for a public library, which stocks material for adults as well as children? As it turns out, no — the Burlington County library system does stock The Joy of Sex, which is famous for its illustrations of couples in various sex positions. But, of course, those couples are straight.

I'm not buying that the addition of Boy Scout onlookers makes the illustration — or Revolutionary Voices as a whole — child porn. Nor do I believe Marinelli's statement that she's "not a homophobe." Her campaign and the Burlington Library's decision are clearly homophobic — unless the Library's prepared to remove every book in which young people talk about or have sex. And since the library also stocks Claiming Georgia Tate, a YA novel featuring father-daughter incest (but at least it's straight incest), I'm guessing that's not going to happen any time soon.

NJ Library Removes LGBT Book After Complaint From Member Of Glenn Beck's 9/12 Movement [TPMMuckraker, via NY Daily News]