COVINGTON, La. (WGNO)— The St. Tammany Parish Library Board of Control was tasked with an appeal on two books. I Am Jazz and My Rainbow both were voted to not be removed from the shelves.
A sea of supporters marched into the St. Tammany Parish Library in Covington on Tuesday calling for LGBTQ+ books to remain on the shelves.
“They are targeting the LGBTQ community and people of color think that our communities need to see ourselves represented in these books representation is so important,” said Mel Manuel, St. Tammany Alliance.
This meeting comes after calls by Attorney General Jeff Landry, along with other politicians, who believe the books “sexualize children.”
Mayor of Mandeville, Clay Madden, released a statement on Facebook a week prior, stating he learned of graphic sexual content in parish libraries and that children should not have access to the materials.
Parish residents also voiced their concerns over the books.
“St. Tammany parish resident you have a community of people that don’t think they can trust the books and I will tell you to speak books to speak to three and eight year old is totally inappropriate,” said Candice Mallard.
No books have been banned in the parish as of now and LGBTQ+ community members want to keep it that way. Allies believe the books are necessary for discussion.
“They engaged me and made me think they didn’t groom and they didn’t justify. They helped me frame my questions the questions I’ve been brought to my parents which formed the basis of discussions,” said Karen Schneider.
Also decided Tuesday night was that if a book was deemed “pervasively vulgar” by the board, the book will be taken off the shelf and put behind the front desk. It will still be able to be checked out as long as you are an adult or a minor with parental consent.