Banned Books List Highlights Debate Over LGBT Rights

Apr 15, 2016

Credit http://www.susankuklin.net/

Recent religious freedom legislation in North Carolina and Mississippi has sparked a national discussion about gay and transgender rights. One surprising place the issue is showing up is in the latest banned books list.

The American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom released its top ten most challenged books for 2015, more commonly known as the Banned Books List.

James LaRue is the director of the office and he says this list represents a pulse of American society.

“It’s a snapshot of probably what people in America are worried about. As I look at the list this year," LaRue says, "it falls into what I think of as kind of a diversity category.”

Jeff Scott is the library director for Washoe County. He says often times book bans have the opposite effect.

“What ends up happening, like in the Harry Potter books, where they try to ban certain books, it makes it where they’re far more read. So the ban is actually counterintuitive, because when they try to ban something, more people want to get their hands on it.”

Three books on this year’s list highlight LGBT issues, including I Am Jazz, Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out and Two Boys Kissing.