Wednesday, October 3, 2012

American Library Association Must Condemn Banning of Ex-Gay Books


October 2, 2012

Contact:  Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX)



American Library Association Urged to Condemn the Banning of

Ex-Gay Books in its "Banned Books Week"


In response to the American Library Association's promotion of its "Banned Books Week," Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) issued this statement:


The American Library Association (ALA) can stop book banning in our nation's libraries by including ex-gay books in the promotion of its famed "Banned Books Week," that time of the year when the ALA complains that unpopular books are censored in libraries.


Every week is a "banned books week" for the ex-gay community.  Books about leaving homosexuality are censored in most high school and community libraries, although gay affirming books are readily available. 

Arlington County, Virginia public schools accepted gay books for students from a local gay activist group, but Charlie Makela, the supervisor for Arlington Public School's Office of Library Services, returned ex-gay books that PFOX had donated because she did not "believe the books are appropriate for our high school collection."  Yet according to the ALA, the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if unorthodox and unpopular, is the reason for its Banned Books Week.

Ms. Makela also chaired the ALA's Supervisors' Section of the American Association of School Librarians.  PFOX filed a Virginia FOIA request and discovered that in censoring our ex-gay books, Makela and her library staff referred to the books as "self-loathing," conveying "psychological damage," and "intolerant."  These bigoted statements directly contradict ALA's policies calling for librarians to resist excluding books about "sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation." 

For libraries to provide children's books which promote homosexual behavior while denying ex-gay books is also contrary to ALA policy advocating diversity in book collection development, regardless of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. 


PFOX calls upon Deborah Caldwell-Stone, deputy director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, to publicly condemn the censoring of ex-gay books. To date, Caldwell-Stone refuses to state whether ALA diversity policy specifically includes ex-gay books.  Without such an affirming statement, Banned Books Week is sheer hypocrisy without a shred of credibility. 


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Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) provides outreach, education, and public awareness in support of families and the ex-gay community. They can be reached at 

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