ST. TAMMANY DEMOCRATIC PARISH EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE’S STANCE ON PROPOSED LITERATURE BANS IN ST. TAMMANY PARISH PUBLIC LIBRARIES
AT A MEETING OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARISH EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LOUISIANA, HELD ON JANUARY 19, 2023, the following decision was reached:
The Saint Tammany Democratic Parish Executive Committee (ST DPEC) is opposed to censorship in all of its forms because it is a clear violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution and because it is a grave danger to our democracy.
For this reason, the ST DPEC is also firmly opposed to a large portion of the current nationwide efforts, often instigated and supported by outside religious and political groups, now underway to ban books and other reading materials in public libraries, including the current efforts to do the same in the Saint Tammany Parish Public Library (STPL).
Furthermore, we specifically reject false narratives and pseudoscience used as justification for the book (literature) bans, including:
- the claimed or implied link between LBGTQ lifestyles and pedophilia,
- the notion of LGBTQ sexual orientation being promoted by or a result of nefarious adults and their guidance or influence,
- selected literature now available in public libraries aiding and abetting these so-called nefarious adults and their activities, and
- the observed rise in sex trafficking being fully or partially caused by these things.
While we understand parents' desire to protect their children, we assert that the STPL has sufficient safeguards in place to protect children from material that is not age appropriate. We also assert that the STPL has not infringed parental rights in any way, including the ability of parents and guardians to protect children under their care.
The library is for all citizens.
There is absolutely no reason to purge adult literature because it is not appropriate for children.
We trust the judgement of our professional librarians and their staff to make sound decisions that serve the best interests of all in our community. We also do not feel any changes need to be made in the handling of complaints.
We further decry and reject any and all efforts to portray librarians as ‘groomers' who allegedly are not interested in the welfare of children; promote ideas and activities that are harmful to children; or seek to promote one set of political, religious, and anti-religious views over others.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY PROCLAIMED by the DPEC of St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, that we are opposed to the banning of literature in branches of the St. Tammany Parish Library and we fully support the current actions and policies of the St. Tammany Parish Library staff.
Dated: January 21, 2023
Democratic Parish Executive Committee, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana
Attested and certified that this resolution was adopted by the DPEC of St. Tammany Parish according to the procedures set forth in the Bylaws.
Gayle Green, Chair, Democratic Parish Executive Committee, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana