In Latest Outrage, Montana House Moves to Ban Books from Public and School Libraries

by HRC Staff

Human Rights Campaign speaking out against effort to censor Montanans

Helena, Montana — Following Thursday’s vote to pass HB 234 in the Montana House of Representatives, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — is warning of the dangerous consequences should this most recent effort to ban books and persecute librarians become law.

Human Rights State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley issued the following statement today:

“In the United States, we don't allow the government or politicians to determine what we can read, see, or hear, or with whom we can gather. Banning books because they contain LGBTQ+ content is a shameful attempt to silence LGBTQ+ stories and further isolate LGBTQ+ kids who should feel safe and welcome whether they’re going to school or checking out books from their public library.”

The effort to pass HB 234 in Montana is the latest salvo by extremist politicians who want to prevent equitable access to library services by banning so-called “obscene” books and materials. Censorship in education has real-life consequences. Last year, Florida’s HB 1557, the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans'' bill, silenced teachers from talking about LGBTQ+ issues or people, further stigmatizing and isolating LGBTQ+ kids and also undermining existing protections for LGBTQ+ students. The legislation — which has triggered major backlash from educators and students across Florida and the country — prevents teachers from providing a safe, inclusive classroom for all students. Alabama also enacted a similar law last year as part of a package of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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