Friday, December 3, 2004

Alabama in the news

From an article in the Birmingham News:

An Alabama lawmaker who sought to ban gay marriages now wants to ban novels with gay characters from public libraries, including university libraries.

A bill by Rep. Gerald Allen, R-Cottondale, would prohibit the use of public funds for "the purchase of textbooks or library materials that recognize or promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle." Allen said he filed the bill to protect children from the "homosexual agenda" . . . .

Allen said that if his bill passes, novels with gay protagonists and college textbooks that suggest homosexuality is natural would have to be removed from library shelves and destroyed.

"I guess we dig a big hole and dump them in and bury them," he said.

A spokesman for the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center called the bill censorship.

"It sounds like Nazi book burning to me," said SPLC spokesman Mark Potok.
Me too. And this story reminds me of what happens in Pleasantville, in which the book-burning scene is meant of course to evoke what the Nazis did.

The article goes on to add: "Allen pre-filed his bill in advance of the 2005 legislative session, which begins Feb. 1. If the bill became law, public school textbooks could not present homosexuality as a genetic trait and public libraries couldn't offer books with gay or bisexual characters." Goodbye Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Goodbye Achilles and Patroclus. Goodbye Sappho.

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