Groups Urge Fresno County to Reject Book Ban

Update: Following some amendments to the proposal, on November 27, the same groups sent this letter to the Board of Supervisors advising them that the amended ordinance was still unconstitutional. The letter states: “The Amended Resolution is just as invasive, just as overbroad, just as vague, and just as unnecessary” as the original resolution.

Today with the ACLU of Northern California, Freedom to Read Foundation, and PEN America, FAC sent a letter to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors urging them to reject the “Resolution Establishing a ‘Parents Matter’ Approach to Reviewing Age-Appropriate Children’s Books in Fresno County Libraries.” The resolution would make children’s books and other materials with allegedly “age-inappropriate content” off-limits to anyone under 18 without “parental or guardian consent.” 

As the letter states, the resolution “transforms the government into both nanny and censor while perverting the public’s civil liberties. The government has no business interfering with the decisions of young people and their families about what library books to read.”

One Comment

  • I agree with your position one hundred percent. Though I believe an over-emphasis of how this resolution harms the LGBTQ+ community in your argument overshadows an even greater harm, which is that five men who have socioeconomic power and agency are making decisions that harm groups in the community that use county library services the most: people of color with lower socioeconomic means who are continually marginalized by government policies and lack agency to advocate for themselves. The resolution doesn’t harm people with socioeconomic agency because they have the means to purchase books (or find them elsewhere) that this board might deem inappropriate. By acting as gatekeepers, they are determining who has access to ideas which could empower socioeconomically marginalized people.

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