Blue State Gov Displays Sexually Explicit Books While Signing Bill Prohibiting ‘Book Bans’

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Reagan Reese Contributor
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Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker promoted several sexually explicit books while signing a bill into law Monday which outlaws “book bans.”

Under HB2789, any state public libraries that restrict or remove content because it is “partisan or doctrinal” will not be eligible for state funding beginning in 2024. Pritzker signed the first-of-its-kind bill into law while standing in front of a display of several books including “This Book Is Gay,” a book that has been described as a “how to” guide for the LGBTQ community that gives tips on anal sex and hand jobs, and “Gender Queer,” a book that contains cartoon images of masturbation and oral sex. (RELATED: Banned Book List Contains Books That Aren’t Actually Banned)

“Here in Illinois, we don’t hide from the truth, we embrace it,” Pritzker said in a press release. “Young people shouldn’t be kept from learning about the realities of our world; I want them to become critical thinkers, exposed to ideas that they disagree with, proud of what our nation has overcome, and thoughtful about what comes next. Everyone deserves to see themselves reflected in the books they read, the art they see, the history they learn. In Illinois, we are showing the nation what it really looks like to stand up for liberty.”

Public libraries must adopt the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights which states that “materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation,” in order to receive state funding, the law stated. Under the law, librarians are also able to come up with their own “bill of rights” or statement but it must mirror the one drafted by the American Library Association.

Another book displayed behind Pritzker while he signed the law included “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” a memoir about the experience of a black queer boy growing up that depicts graphic sexually explicit encounters. “Lawn Boy,” which describes two 10-year-old boys engaging in oral sex, was also displayed behind Pritzker.

“I support local control,” Republican state House Minority Leader Tony McCombie told The Associated Press. “Our caucus does not believe in banning books, but we do believe that the content of books should be considered in their placement on the shelves.”

Throughout the country, parents are pushing to have sexually explicit books removed from schools; in Michigan, members of the Muslim community protested in November pornographic books placed within a Michigan school district, holding signs that read “Keep Your Dirty Books In The Closet.” A Catholic organization launched a June campaign that encourages parents to revolt against sexually explicit content offered to children in public libraries as a part of Pride Month.

“This announcement today is important for our democracy because it protects access, and as a former educator, I have seen firsthand what the lack of access means for our communities – access to voting rights, access to gender rights, access to health care, and access to fully funded schools,” Democratic Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a press release.

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