Gay book ban upset

A DECISION to “rid” Cumberland Council libraries of same sex books has been slammed as “hurtful and divisive” by Anti-Discrimination NSW, with Minister of the Arts, John Graham, calling for the plan to be reconsidered with “haste”.

THOUSANDS of people have signed a petition opposing a move to rid Cumberland libraries of same sex books, but according to the instigator of the controversial proposal, Cr Steve Christou, the ban is what the community wants.
Only one vote split the councillors, and the proposal will be back before council tomorrow night with a motion to alter or rescind the resolution.
He said the books don’t align with community values and “it’s imperative council takes a stand”.
Cr Christou said that earlier this year residents stormed a council meeting in support of a ban on drag queen “story time” events, where drag queens read books to children, at its facilities, and he thought that “would have been a clear message”.
“The community doesn’t want such controversial issues and beliefs indoctrinated into their libraries,” he said.
“We need to respect the wishes of our residents.”
Cr Diane Colman said the ban was an attack on our freedoms.
“We have responsibilities supporting and sustaining the free flow of information and ideas including asserting the equal and equitable rights of individuals to information regardless of wealth, political beliefs, ability, gender, religion or sexual orientation,” she said.
“We don’t want some old-fashioned book burning here in Cumberland
“There are all different types of families in our community and all should be accepted and cherished.”
State MP for Auburn, Lynda Voltz said she was dismayed about the brazen antics of certain councillors to dictate what people can and cannot read, while the Minister for Arts, John Graham, stated in a letter to council that: “It is not the role of councillors to decide what people may read …. It is up to readers to choose what they want to read or parents to guide their children on what to read”.