The Orem City Council is forbidding a Pride Month display of age-appropriate children's and teens materials in the Children's area of the Library. This issue came up last year when Council member Terry Peterson objected to the displays. At that time, the Director was quoted as saying that "the overall response to them was positive" and that "some parents thanked library staff for offering the selection of materials."
Please sign and share this petition today!
These actions are highly problematic for a number of reasons:
The City Council's Political Interference is Illegitimate. Legitimate governance is transparent and open. The City Council's order forbidding a display was done in the dark. The Council's actions are in opposition to the principles of the library's collection development policy.
Censoring LGBTQ+ Information Increases the Risk of Harm and Violence for our Youth. Censoring age-appropriate displays of LGBTQ+ materials is a health and safety issue. in Utah, LGBTQ+ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers, and it was recently reported that hate crimes against LGBTQ+ individuals nearly doubled in Utah last year. Displays of LGBTQ+ materials help youth feel seen, welcomed, and less alone.
Pride Month is an officially sanctioned state observation. June has been officially proclaimed as LGBTQ+ Pride Month is Utah, so it is appropriate for staff to offer age-appropriate displays and programming throughout the month. The proclamation states, "we must encourage relevant and vital conversations about what it means to love each other, understand our differences, and support our LGBTQ+ friends and family members."
Political Interference Creates an Environment where Staff May Fear for Their Jobs. When those who control the budget and have the power to hire and fire order staff to cancel a planned display, it creates a fearful environment, and one that may lead staff to engage in "soft-censorship" of future displays, programs, and materials purchases to the detriment of the community members they serve.
For more information, see joint statement from ULA, Equality Utah, PFLAG, Utah LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce.
Every $10 we raise helps us reach 1,000 people like you with petitions like these.