The letter, created by the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), is a response to recent attacks on books about LGBTQ+ people, race, and racism in schools
NEW YORK, NY — Today, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) leads a coalition of over 400 signatories, including Family Equality, in voicing strong support for the inclusion of books with LGBTQ+ themes and characters—as well as books about other marginalized people and experiences—in school libraries and reading lists. In a joint statement, the coalitions condemned the recent rise in censorship and its impact on education, student rights, and freedom of expression.
The statement, which is signed by nearly 80 organizations; over 50 bookstores; 17 publishers; and over 250 individual stakeholders such as authors, teachers, and librarians reads:
“Books help students connect with characters whose stories reflect their own lives. They also widen their view of a changing world that embraces diversity and multiculturalism. But there is always resistance to change. So it is not surprising that most of the books that are being attacked address concerns of groups previously underrepresented in libraries and school curriculums: books about lived experiences of racism or of growing up LGBTQIA.
“The First Amendment guarantees that no individual, group of individuals, legislator, community member, parent or even school board member can dictate what public school students are allowed to read based on their own personal beliefs or political viewpoint. It is freedom of expression that ensures that we can meet the challenges of a changing nation. That freedom is critical for the students who will lead America in the years ahead. We must fight to defend it.”
Signatories have released this statement in response to the wave of attempted book bans in at least a dozen states.
“We are horrified at these attacks on diverse storytelling,” Jess Venable-Novak, Director of Family Formation, said. “Excluding LGBTQ+ topics and people from lesson plans and libraries shames and isolates our families and our youth. It also hinders the comprehensive education of all students, because it perpetuates a false sense of what the world is really like.”
GLAAD is also coordinating a social media campaign, #BooksNotBans, and providing a media guide for reporters to accurately report on the efforts to ban books and their illegality, as well as background on the national anti-LGBTQ groups coordinating and funding these actions.
About Family Equality
Family Equality advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality believes every LGBTQ+ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at familyequality.org.
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