LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) – LGBTQIA+ and sex education books were at the center of debate at the Livingston Parish Library Board meeting Tuesday.
Eight books, the content of which includes sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex education were brought forward by board member Erin Sandefur to review the content.
“I’m going to ask you please don’t bring intolerance into this place of, this place of books and learning,” said retired educator and community member Lori Collier.
The room was packed with people who said books like these are important tools in teaching safe consensual sex.
“I hope the board considers the outcome of this discussion directly impacts the lives of our LGBTQIA plus patrons, their families and their loved ones,” Livingston Parish community member Kelci Sibley said.
Some said they might not agree with the content of the books, but took issue with the concept of the board banning or censoring books from the shelves.
“What topic will be on the chopping block tomorrow?” asked community member Danielle Frederick.
A few people stood up and said that they did not want these books within reach of children.
“I would not want my child or my grandchild looking at these explicit pictures,” said one community member.
Sandefur would not say if it is a possibility that the board would ban these books and said that only the content was up for discussion.
“It’s about the content of the books, it is not about a sexual persuasion or gender, it’s about the content and who it’s in front of,” Sandefur said.
At the end of the meeting, no action was taken, but many community members said they will keep a close eye on future agendas.
“I will never stop fighting to ensure that this library system retains that state of strength,” said Sibley.
The list of books up for discussion:
- Dating and Sex: A Guide for the 21st Century Teen Boy
- Queer The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide for Teens
- Gay Parenting
- It Feels Good To Be Yourself
- The Gender Quest Workbook: a guide for teens and young adults exploring gender identity
- Transgender People
- Sex is a Funny Word