Texas residents demand LGBT children's books be banned from public library

Picture books for grade-schoolers encourage 'perversion,' some Hood County, Texas, residents claim

Two LGBT-themed children's books have come under fire at a Granbury, Texas, public library. Dozens of community members have demanded that "My Princess Boy" and "This Day in June" be either banned from the Hood County Library or moved out of the children's section, WFAA-TV reports.

The library has received more than 50 "challenge forms" raising concerns about the picture books, both of which are aimed at readers ages 4 to 8. At least one of the residents objecting to the books claims they endorse "the gay lifestyle" and encourage "perversion."

Courtney Kincaid, the director of the library, said she moved "This Day in June" to the nonfiction section but declined to remove the books outright. "The books have color drawings and have some rhymes," she said. "Lesbians and gays are in this community, and they deserve to have some items in this collection."

But Rose Myers, a Granbury city councilwoman, isn't pleased. She told the television station that her objection to the books "was clearly based on the fact that if the library would not move the books and keep them in an appropriate location, then they should be removed."

Myers said the books shouldn't be placed in the children's section: "Can a 4-year-old understand the content of this book without the help of an adult? In my opinion, no."

"My Princess Boy," written by Cheryl Kilodavis and illustrated by Suzanne DeSimone, is about a boy who likes to wear clothing typically associated with girls. The book, published in 2010 by Simon & Schuster imprint Aladdin, is based on Kilodavis' own son.

"This Day in June," written by Gayle E. Pitman and illustrated by Kristyna Litten, tells the story of a pride celebration and incorporates historical facts about the LGBT movement. The book was published last year by Magination Press, which is owned by the American Psychological Association.

The Hood County library board has voted to keep both books in the library stacks, but that could change later this month when the county's board of commissioners meets. It's not known whether the group plans to take any action on the issue.

Hood County made headlines earlier this week after County Clerk Katie Lang said she would refuse to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples, telling her staff members, "We are not issuing them because I am instilling my religious liberty in this office." A county commissioner, Butch Barton, emailed her urging her to "hang in."

Lang changed her mind on Tuesday. In a statement posted on the county website, she wrote: "Because some have misreported and misconstrued my prior statements, I want to make clear that the County Clerk’s Office of Hood County will comply with the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States."

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times