Grandma leads fight against ‘bigotry’

NATIONAL LGBTIQ+ group Equality Australia is backing a proud grandmother in her fight to reverse a decision by Cumberland Council to ban books featuring same-sex parents.

The council last month voted in favour of a motion to rid its eight publicly funded libraries of any books that contain material on same-sex parents.
Lidcombe grandmother Caroline Staples is a long-time resident and a mother of four adult children as well as a proud grandmother to a rainbow family.
“Here in Western Sydney, we welcome people of different backgrounds, beliefs and cultures,” she said.
“Our diversity is part of what makes living in our area so special. We are better than this motion.”
Ms Staples launched a petition that she hopes to present to the council on May 15 when a group of Labor Councillors move to rescind the motion.
“The council motion has made me fear for the safety of the rainbow families in our community and the future cohesion of our community,” she said.
“Once you ban one group of people, it’s a slippery slope.”
Equality Australia Legal Director Ghassan Kassisieh said councils should offer services to everyone in their local community without discrimination.
“Children in rainbow families are cherished and loved. Councillors who say otherwise fuel bigotry that makes their lives harder, not easier,” he said.
“The council seems to be clinging to some kind of backward stereotype that people in Western Sydney are bigoted and can’t decide for themselves what to borrow from the local library. The local community and its rainbow families deserve better than this.
“If you don’t want to borrow the book, you don’t have to, but don’t deny others the chance to access books that reflect modern family life in Australia in 2024.
“If councils banning books about LGBTQ+ people is not already unlawful under the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act, it certainly should be.”