A, you guessed it, US pastor just said gay characters in children’s books will turn you gay
Up next in the ‘Things You Just Have To Expect At This Point’ playlist, an American pastor has pelted a library with “concerns” over children’s books containing gay characters as he fears they will “indoctrinate” kids.
Calvary Chapel Mountain Highlands pastor Josh Layfield issued a statement on social media after spying a copy of Daniel Haack’s 2018 picture book, Prince & Knight in a West Virginia library.
After he met with administrators, the Upshur Country Library Board is considering shelving the book completely, which features two men on a quest for love, reported the Mountaineer Journal.
Following the pastor’s outcry, library officials pulled the book out of circulation. A final call on the matter is in the pipeline, board members said.
Minister slams fairytale book with gay characters as ‘indoctrination’.
As a result of the book – which details a knight and a prince falling in love while battling a dragon – being stocked in a library, a local minister expressed his fury online.
Layfield said in a since deleted Facebook post that he met with the library director to relay his concerns, describing: “This book [as] a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children, especially boys, into the LGBTQA lifestyle.”
“This book is deliberately appealing to their imagination, creativity, and their innocence when they still think girls have ‘cooties’.
“Children’s books, which are promoted by the state and put into circulation by taxpayer funds, should remain innocent.
“Unfortunately, this is an intentional leading of children into sin and parents and citizens within this community must be mindful of what is happening.”
However, in response to this, Buckhannon Pride – Upshur County’s local LGBT activist organisation – issued a statement of its own.
“It has been brought to our attention that our public library plans to take a book out of circulation due to LGBTQ+ content after receiving a complaint from a church,” the statement said.
“Bet they don’t seem to have an issue accepting taxes from the LGBTQ+ community.”
The activist group also started a change.org petition, which has already tallied more than 1,000 signatures, in an effort to keep the book on library shelves.
Furthermore, Haack himself has hit back at protesters.
“If the protesters are worried that reading this book will turn someone gay, I can easily refer them to all the gay adults who grew up only reading about straight romances,” the author said in a news release.
‘Decision to pull Prince & Knights is an act of discrimination’, say GLAAD.
The book is published by Little Bee Books in partnership with GLAAD, which issued a statement condemning the pulling of the title.
“The decision to remove Prince & Knight from the shelves of the Upshur County Public Library is an act of discrimination, plain and simple” ” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement.
“Inclusive children’s books do not ‘indoctrinate’ but do allow LGBTQ families and their children the chance to see themselves reflected in the world.”
Moreover, the library’s online catalogue shows the book is in circulation and has been checked out by a user.
The catalogue shows the due date as December 18. A library board member claimed the copy of the book had been requested to be reviewed for acceptability by a patron.
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Initially, board members were scheduled to discuss the book on November 20.
Yet, as it was not on the previously published agenda, it has been scuppered to a later date, 12WBOY stated.
Nevertheless, the removal has been a lightning rod for widespread criticism.
The National Coalition Against Censorship, the American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom and West Virginia Library Association have rallied for library board members to return Prince & Knight to shelves.
“While it may not be right for every family of Upshur County, it unquestionably serves the information needs of many of the families and young people residing in Upshur County,” they said in a letter to board members.
“While we firmly believe that parents know their children best and should guide their children’s reading, one parent’s – or community member’s – belief that a book is inappropriate for their family should not be grounds for restricting that title when the book may be a treasured favourite for other children and other families.”