ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — What would you think about your child reading “50 Shades of Grey”?
What about a book about being a transgender teen?
The group Florida Citizens Alliance is asking Florida’s Attorney General to enforce anti-pornography statutes to get a list of materials it says are objectionable out of school libraries. They're calling the list "Porn in Florida Public Schools" and say the books violate Christian values.
While some books like “50 Shades” were geared towards a more mature audience, there are others like one titled "Mommy, Mama and Me" that were made for children to understand LGTBQ families.
That's why not everyone is on board with this proposal. The executive director of Atheists of Florida Judy M. Adkins told 10News:
“The major objection to the books is that they violate "Judeo-Christian" and traditional family values. This is clearly a move to force their religious views onto a government entity and thus on all of society. We encourage everyone to voice their opinion and that while this religious group has every right to make their views known, our concern is that if the state representatives hear from no other people/groups, they will move ahead with promoting this religious intrusion. We are working to build and strengthen alliances with and among other groups that have common goals to protect religious freedom, atheist and non-atheist. Among these are organizations with strong legal departments and histories of activism. If legal challenge is necessary, we are looking to them to bring the necessary leverage. Ultimately, it is the people who will make the difference.”
The ACLU of Florida’s legislative director Kara Gross told 10News:
"Book bans are the worst kind of censorship, particularly when they are discriminatory and veiled as 'protecting' children. The fact of the matter is that LGBTQ children attend school and that all children have family members, friends, neighbors, and teachers who identify as LGBTQ. Removing books from the shelves doesn't change that fact and only serves to erase the LGBTQ community, perpetuate ignorance and stereotypes, and stigmatize children and their families. Libraries and schools should reflect the diversity of all individuals and celebrate love instead of perpetuating hate."
10News reached out to Attorney General Ashley Moody for comment. A spokesperson told us that they have not received any letter from Florida Citizens Alliance.
Just last year, a Florida state representative filed a bill that would make it easier to censor and ban books in school. Anyone who violated the rules would face a felony charge. And a companion bill that the Florida Citizens Alliance worked on, alongside Florida Senator Debbie Mayfield, would remove books they consider harmful to students.
Some of the books listed were "Angela Ashe's" and "Clockwork Orange".
You can see a full list of all the books Florida Citizens Alliance wants removed below.
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