Display at Mesa County Public Library Hostile to Gay Parents

Above: Embedded video of KJCT8 News (Grand Junction, CO) story

I’ll be processing this one for a while.

I respect and admire the library’s wish to avoid censorship of patron-created displays, but I also loathe this sort of anti-gay claptrap and am uneasy with the library being used to spread an evangelistic message that is openly hostile to some of the library’s users.

While I respect the library’s view and want to be whole-hearted in my support of their decision, I’d be pretty upset really ticked off if a public display at my local library suggested that Jews (for example) couldn’t be fit parents. A display suggesting that any ethnic or religious minority couldn’t be fit parents would (rightly) cause massive public outcry…what makes this any different?

I have no problem with a library providing an education service of educating patrons about a religious perspective, but that seems to me to be very different from actually facilitating the preaching of that perspective.

If you have some insight, please share it? What do you think?

(Afterthought: This’d make an interesting case for class discussion or an assignment, eh?)

One thought on “Display at Mesa County Public Library Hostile to Gay Parents

  1. Hmmmm…

    Has been a couple of days since this posting and no comments yet – but I imagine a lot of people have opinions on this topic. I think there are some topics that people are really afraid to discuss openly, since they tend to evoke strong reactions in people – this being one of them – others being abortion and animal experimentation (oh no! I said those taboo words!)

    Well, I have thoughts, and questions, on this and other topics, that I don’t feel free to express, since I am afraid to offend. So I am not going to comment on the subject of gay parenting, but rather on the subject of free speech versus censorship with a suggestion (which is much more appropriate for your blog).

    Since any public display that is based on opinion rather than fact is always likely to offend some people one way or another, and I am sure that is not the library’s intention, but rather that they want to encourage freedom of speech and open debate, why not adopt the following approach:

    Whenever somebody wants to put up a display that expresses an opinion, encourage those people to do so on the grounds that another party, with an alternative opinion, is invited to display their conflicting view on the opposite wall at the same time.

    I understand that this library did in fact have on display posters promoting gay parenting a couple of weeks previously – if they could have put the alternative displays opposite each other, running at the same time, this would, I think, have encouraged open discussion, avoided unnecessary offence and prevented the view that the library is in some way biased and guilty of promoting propaganda.

    If my local library permitted a display from the National Front about keeping foreigners out of the country, I would be very annoyed – however, if that display was shown alongside a display of what an important contribution other races have made, and continue to make, to this country, I would have no objection. In fact, I would welcome such a display, since I think this would expose racism for what is truly is and encourage healthy discussion between parents and their children on a topic that needs to be addressed.

    Without open discussion surely society can never move forward on delicate issues – some views will be oppressed but simply move underground – we can legislate against how we act on the surface, but if views cannot be openly discussed in a non-hostile atmosphere, however controversial those view maybe, feelings of hatred will continue to simmer below the surface and random acts of prejudice will continue to damage people’s lives.