.- Public libraries in southern U.S. states have begun stocking gay-friendly books, and this has launched intense debate in local communities.
Louisiana State Rep. A.G. Crowe (R—Slidell) recently wrote a resolution urging librarians to keep books with gay-friendly content away from kids. According to an article by Jake Tapper and Clayton Sandell, Crowe took action after one parent complained when his child brought home a copy of "King & King" from the local library.
The book for preschoolers, published by San Francisco's Ten Speed Press, is about a prince who falls in love with another prince.
"When a book of a very bizarre nature, a very offensive nature, is found in a library in an area that would be considered very conservative, this tends to raise some eyebrows," Crowe told ABC News. "It certainly goes against our family values that we so treasure here in Louisiana."
Many parents have voiced their disapproval about these books being made publicly available to children.
The states of Arkansas, Alabama and Oklahoma are experiencing similar issues and have debated laws restricting access to gay-friendly books in libraries and other public venues.
Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern, a Republican from Oklahoma City, proposed a bill earlier this year that calls on Oklahoma libraries to "confine homosexually themed books and other age-inappropriate material to areas exclusively for adult access and distribution."
"It is a book written for children, but it deals with what I consider to be an adult theme," she said. Kern's bill was passed in May.
The debate has now reached the national level. Last month, Rep. Walter Jones (R—N.C.) proposed federal legislation that would require states to form local parental advisory boards to weigh in on all new library books and non-textbook school books or risk losing federal funding.