HUNTSVILLE – About a dozen or so Huntsville residents spoke passionately about the Read With Pride display celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.
Some say it’s about time that type of literature is made available, while others defended their choice to avoid it and shield it from their children.
There’s a popular saying that reading is fundamental, but some say that depends on what you read.
“The library staff was asked to remove all displays in the library until such time that the city can review the policies and procedures of governing said displays,” said Huntsville City Manager, Aron Kulhavy.
The main display recently removed from the Huntsville Public Library drawing strong opinions was Read With Pride.
“The library is starting to introduce itself as the role of the parent, that’s not its role,” said one man who spoke.
“It reflects the diversity of our broader American society,” said one woman who spoke.
Parts of the Read With Pride display can be seen in a flyer circulating the community calling for it to be taken down.
“A parent needs to be able to choose when to expose their child to LGBTQ content, it’s their prerogative,” said mother of three, Lindsay Duncan.
Duncan and others voicing concerns referenced deep-rooted Christian values for their opposition.
“As a father and a grandfather, with that display, I won’t go to the public library, I’ll turn around and leave,” said speaker Don Gibeaut.
Others say it’s important that literature about underrepresented members of the community be made easily accessible.
“I spent all of my time with my nose pressed into books, I don’t remember running across one gay kid, one trans kid, one character that resonated with either of these groups,” said Jade Ellis who is transgender.
“You say it’s not about one group, evidently it is. Evidently, y’all are trying to force us back into the closet and that’s not what we’re going to do,” said Nick Ransford who is president of the LGBTQ+ group, Huntsville Texas Pride.
After the public comments section, the council met in a closed executive session. It’s unclear though when they will decide whether the displays can return to the library.