- Republican Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry issued a report Tuesday about sexually explicit books that were found in public libraries in the state.
- The report includes model legislation that would require libraries to issue different library cards to minors that restrict access to specific sections without parental approval.
- “This doesn’t mean that we’re banning or censoring voices. It does mean that some books should be relocated away from small children and that the ability of those children to check out certain materials should be limited to what their parents and guardians allow,” Landry said during Tuesday’s press conference.
Republican Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry unveiled Tuesday a report detailing “sexually explicit” books found in public libraries and proposed legislation to give parents more control over what children are permitted to check out.
The 54-page “Protecting Innocence” report highlights nine books that included sexual content accessible to children in Louisiana public libraries as well as specific examples from the books that display pornographic content. Its model legislation would require libraries to issue specific cards for minors through which parents could restrict what books their child can borrow. (RELATED: Louisiana Releases ‘Protecting Minors’ Tip Line To Report Explicit Library Books)
“About six months ago, our office started getting calls from concerned parents and librarians about sexually explicit material within the public libraries that minor children, in our public libraries, had unfettered, unrestricted access to,” Landry said in a Tuesday press conference alongside parents and lawmakers. “This began a debate between parents and librarians across our state about how we could keep sexually explicit material out of the hands of children while still ensuring that librarians are able to promote healthy viewpoints within our public libraries.”
Landry stressed the report is for viewers 18 years and older.
“Fun Home,” “Gender Queer: A Memoir” and “Blankets,” three of the books mentioned in the report, included graphic images depicting sex acts and genitalia.
“Gender Queer” scenes depict masturbation, sexting and oral sex using a “strap on,” according to pages highlighted in the report, while “Blankets” appears to show a grown man exposing himself to a child. “Fun Home” includes images of two characters having sex with a “lesbian terrorist” shirt and a protest sign reading “keep your God off my body” in the background.
“Breathless,” “Lawn Boy,” “The V-Word,” “Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts),” “All Boys Aren’t Blue” and “The Bluest Eye” included passages describing sex acts between the characters.
“My first time getting it in the butt was kind of weird. … I was a freshman, and it was winter break, right before everyone left for vacation — a big holiday blowout party,” reads a passage from “Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts).” “There was this senior from another school, and we were drinking and flirting, and eventually we took off together.”
The book also explains in detail how to perform oral sex.
“You told me to take-off my pajama pants, which I did. You then took off your shorts, followed by your boxers,” “All Boys Aren’t Blue” reads. “There you stood in front of me fully erect and said, ‘Taste it.’ At first, I laughed and refused. But then you said, ‘Come on, Matt, taste it. This is what other boys like us do when we like each other.’ I finally listened to you.”
“The V-Word” includes various essays written by women about losing their virginity in their teenage years.
“Let me be clear so that there is zero confusion,” Landry said Tuesday. “Nowhere in this report do we call for the censoring or banning of books. This is about what’s appropriate for children. This is about giving parents the ability to control the information that their children see or have access to in public libraries.”
The model legislation defines “sexual conduct” as masturbation or lewd acts, sadomasochistic abuse and other sexual acts. The legislation included in the report would restrict minors’ access to specific sections of the library without parental approval.
“This is not a political issue. This is about giving parents and officials the tools they requested to protect Louisiana’s children from sexually explicit material that is inappropriate for their age,” he said. “This doesn’t mean that we’re banning or censoring voices. It does mean that some books should be relocated away from small children and that the ability of those children to check out certain materials should be limited to what their parents and guardians allow.”
The report also included general information about libraries, links to public libraries’ policies, and sample letters to send to library and state leaders with concerns about material found in available books.
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