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LGBTQ+ Books at the Center of Library Controversies in Michigan & Iowa

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After voters defunded their local library over the inclusion of LGBTQ+ books, residents of a small town in western Michigan helped raise almost nearly $115,000 to keep its doors open.An initiative to renew tax funds for Hudsonville’s Patmos Library, which is located 20 miles east of Lake Michigan outside Grand Rapids, was rejected by Jamestown Township voters last week.

Almost two-thirds of voters rejected the tax renewal, erasing 84 percent of the library’s annual budget, or $245,000.It came from conservative residents’ anger over the library having Gender Queer: A Memoir by nonbinary author Maia Kobabe available to borrow.An opposition group, the Jamestown Conservatives, baselessly accused the library of grooming children and demanded that more LGBTQ+ books be removed.The library moved the book behind a counter to keep it out of children’s reach, but residents who had been calling for the book’s removal for months were unimpressed.In response to the vote, Jamestown resident Jesse Dillman, a father of two, launched a GoFundMe page just two days after the vote to raise the full amount to keep the library open, NBC News reports.Another ongoing battle over LGBTQ-inclusive books is happening in rural Iowa.Kailee Coleman initially sought to educate tolerance when she penned and printed her children’s book And That’s Their Family.

She explained to The Advocate that in the book, she writes about different family structures, including families of divorce, families with non-binary members, two moms and two dads, and others.

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