Posts Tagged ‘Same-sex relationships’

National Library Board (NLB) Bans Books (Singapore)

Friday, July 11th, 2014

The National Library Board (NLB) has banned/removed 3 books after complaints from a member of the public that the books did not promote family values.

 “And Tango Makes Three”
“The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption”
“Who’s In My Family: All About Our Families”

 “NLB’s collection development policy takes special care of our children’s collections to ensure they are age-appropriate. We take a cautious approach, particularly in books and materials for children. NLB’s understanding of family is consistent with that of the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Ministry of Education,” the statement read.

The removal of the two books has sparked strong responses on social media, including blogposts, Facebook notes and two online petitions.

An open letter written by Ng Yi-sheng, Lim Jialiang, and Liyan Chen called for the NLB to reinstate the two titles and “to exercise prudence in response to complaints in the future”. The letter questioned why the books were removed “without any process for disputation”.

The letter called the removal of the books “irresponsible and unfair to other library users and parents”. It also criticised the NLB for “withdrawing titles from the shelves hastily simply because it offends the sensibilities of some people”.

The Straits Times has learnt that there were at least three more children’s books that were also recently banned.
Written by American author Robie H. Harris, they have to do with sex education and are meant for children aged four and above.

Read more here:

NLB pulls two children’s books that ‘don’t promote family values’

NLB: Withdrawn books will be destroyed

National Library Board bans more children’s books: Straits Times

Father says The Perks Of Being A Wallflower should be banned

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

A fathperkswallflowerer of four in B.C. says an American coming-of-age book is “pornographic,” and should be banned from the Kamloops/Thompson School District.

Dean Audet says he was astonished when his 15-year-old son showed him “The Perks Of Being A Wallflower” that his Grade 10 class was studying, reported CFJC. The novel by Stephen Chbosky is about an introverted teen trying to fit in.

Read more here:

This is not the first time The Perks of Being a Wallflower has been challenged or banned.  Chbosky’s book often makes the American Library Associations, yearly, top hundred list of most challenged books. On numerous occasions this book has made the top 10.

Here are few of the most recent postings from NDLA Intellectual Freedom Blog:

Book pulled from online Amazon store

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Linda Harvey’s ‘Maybe He’s Not Gay: Another View on Homosexuality’ Book Pulled From Amazon

Notorious anti-gay pundit and Mission America founder Linda Harvey sparked outrage earlier this week she announced the sale of her new book Maybe He’s Not Gay: Another View on Homosexuality through Amazon.

Now, after receiving numerous letters expressing shock and criticism, Amazon has yanked Harvey’s book from its virtual shelves, Back2Stonewall is reporting.

As Queerty points out, the book’s description reportedly challenged parents to consider hard-hitting questions, such as “Does this identity bring the promised liberation and the key to a whole new life? Does it lift the burden of secrecy –- or begin a different kind of struggle?… Is there another possibility that transcends the seeming finality of a homosexual identity?”

Harvey has historically been an extreme anti-gay pundit, claiming that gay-inclusive education is “child abuse” and advocating for the firing gay employees. In addition, she’s been called “the most homophobic woman in America.”

This isn’t the first time Amazon has pulled potentially dangerous books from their website. In October, thousands of “abuse-themed” e-books were removed after a “report highlighted titles depicting rape, incest and bestiality,” according to the BBC.

UPDATE: Queerty notes that a spokesperson from Amazon claims, “the publisher removed the book from sale, not Amazon.”

ACLU Demands PA School District Stop Use of Discriminatory Internet Filters

Monday, March 4th, 2013

February 28, 2013

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Pennsylvania have sent a letter requesting that school officials at Governor Mifflin School District in Berks County stop using Internet filters that violate students’ First Amendment free speech rights. The district uses a “sexuality” filter that blocks sites that express support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, and an “intolerance” filter that blocks political advocacy sites that are labeled as intolerant.

Junior Maison Fioravante discovered that Governor Mifflin Senior High School was blocking access to web content geared toward LGBT communities while researching for a class project on social issues. However, sites for organizations that condemn homosexuality were not blocked. Fioravante circulated a petition and online video asking the school to stop blocking these sites, which has over 3,200 signatures.

“It’s not only important for support for LGBT students and those questioning their sexual identities to be able to access these sites, but also for students who simply want information for school projects,” said Fioravante. “It’s wrong for my school to determine that this kind of information is too sensitive for the student body.”

Fioravante was unable to access websites for organizations like the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Safe Schools Coalition, Freedom to Marry, the Equality Federation and Lambda Legal. Those sites were blocked for falling into the commercial filtering software’s “sexuality” filter.

“Being able to access information on the Internet at the school library is not only critical for academic purposes, it can also be a lifeline for LGBT students in crisis who don’t feel safe seeking support on their home computers,” said Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “Blocking these sites not only violates the First Amendment, but it does a disservice to students trying to learn about themselves and the world around them.”

Although the “sexuality” filter blocks only websites that express an LGBT-supportive viewpoint, a separate filter called “intolerance” blocks some websites from organizations like the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council, which oppose legal protections for LGBT people.

“Regardless of whether you support or oppose legal protections for LGBT people, these sorts of viewpoint-based filters puts everyone’s First Amendment rights at risk,” said Joshua Block, staff attorney with the ACLU LGBT Project. “If you give school officials the power to censor viewpoints they don’t like, they may use that power to block your own viewpoint too.”

Governor Mifflin School District uses filtering software from Smoothwall, Ltd. Last year, a federal judge ruled against a school district in Camdenton, Missouri, that refused to remove a similar discriminatory filter.

The letter asks the district to advise the ACLU by March 14 whether and how it will address the filtering problem.

More information, including a copy of today’s letter to the school district, can be found here:

More information on the ACLU’s work on LGBT school issues can be found here: