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Books

LGBT+ books dominate most-banned books list, including John Oliver’s gay bunny book

Nick Duffy April 8, 2019
"A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo", "George" and "Two Boys Kissing" made the banned books list

"A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo", "George" and "Two Boys Kissing" made the banned books list"A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo", "George" and "Two Boys Kissing" made the banned books list

A gay picture book produced by talk show host John Oliver is among LGBT+ entries in the annual banned books list.

The American Library Association’s annual list of most-banned and challenged books, released on Monday (April 8), is once again dominated by LGBT+ content—as it has been for several years.

Of the eleven books to make the list, six faced objections due to their LGBT+ themes, up from four in 2017.

John Oliver bunny book joins other LGBT+ entries on most-banned books list

The list is topped by Alex Gino’s 2015 novel “George”, about a young transgender girl, which anti-LGBT activists accused of “creating confusion.”

The second most-banned book is LGBT-inclusive story book “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” which was originally released as a stunt for TV show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

The children’s picture book, written by Last Week Tonight staffer Jill Thewlis, follows Vice President Mike Pence’s real-life rabbit Marlon Bundo as he falls in love with another male rabbit and decides to spend the rest of his life with him.

The Captain Underpants series is in third place on the list, with the book “Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot” frequently challenged for including a same-sex couple.

Rounding out the most-censored books list are LGBT+ graphic novel “Drama” by Raina Telgemeier, LGBT+ picture book “This Day in June” by Gayle E. Pitman, and gay novel “Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan.

"This Day in June" by Gayle E. Pitman joined a John Oliver book on the most-banned book list
“This Day in June” by Gayle E. Pitman

The ALA explained: “Literature helps us navigate the world by shining a light on challenging and uncomfortable topics. Censorship leaves us in the dark. Shutting down discussion only ends up spreading fear, distrust and ignorance.

“That’s why it’s more important than ever to keep the light on by allowing everyone to access materials from all viewpoints.

“The best defence against censorship is knowledge is awareness.”

Censorship of LGBT+ events has surged

A total of 483 books were challenged or banned in 2018, according to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

The office also recorded “an increase in attempts to censor drag queen story hours and LGBTQIA+ programming,” in addition to general book censorship, following widely-reported protests against the inclusive story time events..

The banned books resource also specifically notes the public burning of LGBT+ inclusive books outside Iowa’s Orange City Public Library in October.

The library received more than 200 donated books after the incident.

More: US

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