A county prosecutor in Michigan has raised the possibility of felony charges against a librarian and other officials over the controversial book Gender Queer: A Memoir.
According to the nonprofit news website Bridge Michigan, Lapeer County Prosecutor John Miller said he believes the illustrations in the book could violate state law for “accosting, enticing or soliciting a child for immoral purpose.”
Miller says he doesn’t want to file charges and hopes the book will be removed from the Lapeer District Library without that being necessary.
The controversial book, which has been banned from school libraries around the country, is a graphic novel with LGBTQ themes that includes illustrations of sex acts. According to Bridge Michigan, the state statute Miller cited is generally associated with police sting operations against adults preying on minors. The local controversy started after a resident checked out the book and reported it to police, who returned it to the library. The book reportedly was shelved in the library’s adult section, though it was accessible to younger people.
Library Director Amy Churchill told Michigan Bridge that she’s undeterred and called the tactics intimidation. “If Mr. Miller wishes to arrest me, I am in my office working for the patrons and staff of the Lapeer District Library Monday through Friday,” she said.
Churchill told CBS Detroit that about 150 Michigan libraries have the book in their collections. “This is not a perverted, obscene book,” she said. “This is a memoir of someone’s life.”
Bridge Michigan also reported that bills are pending in Georgia, Indiana, Texas and Wyoming that would allow school librarians to be charged criminally for objectionable books.
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