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Washington Post finds LGBTQ books are banned the most

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An analysis of 872 challenges to 444 books in 29 states conducted by the Washington Post revealed books featuring “LGBTQ characters, themes and stories” are banned the most, while nearly half of all books that were challenged were eventually returned to library shelves.

The study included challenges from the 2021 to 2022 school year in more than 100 school districts. Compared with all targeted titles, those “about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer lives were 30 percent more likely to be yanked,” while those “by and about people of color, or those about race and racism” were 20 percent likelier to survive challenges, the Post found.

Librarians who spoke to the newspaper were heartened, in many cases, by the high rate of return of challenged books to their shelves, but they also detailed how much time and effort was required to defend them.

Martha Hickson, a librarian who fought off efforts to ban books with LGBTQ themes, said this involved working nights and weekends — while facing down “allegations that she was a pornographer and a pedophile, shouted by parents at school board meetings and written into the book challenges, which named her personally.” Moms for Liberty, a powerful anti-LGBTQ organization deemed an extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is behind many of the efforts to pull books from library shelves — disproportionately targeting titles with LGBTQ content, or those by and about people of color or race and racism.

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