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West Virginia Public Library Pulls LGBT Children’s Book After Objections From Residents

The children’s section in a bookstore, September 14, 2018. (Max Rossi/Reuters)

A West Virginia public library has pulled an LGBT children’s book from its shelves after local residents objected to it.

The Upshur County Public Library removed the book “Prince and Knight,” about a prince who falls in love with a knight after a local pastor complained earlier this month that the book “is a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children, especially boys, into the LGBTQA lifestyle.”

The library board held a formal review Wednesday on whether to keep the controversial children’s book off the shelves, but Library Board President Dennis Xander walked out of the meeting before a decision could be made after residents demanded answers on the presence of several LGBT children’s books. Parents had noticed two additional LGBT children’s books at the library, “In Our Mothers’ House,” about a lesbian couple and their children, and “Julian is a Mermaid,” about a cross-dressing young boy.

“Prince and Knight,” published by Little Bee Books in partnership with the LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD, was described as an “illuminating fairy tale for young readers” by the School Library Journal.

GLAAD condemned the library’s decision to pull the book, calling it an “act of discrimination” against LGBT families.

“Inclusive children’s books do not ‘indoctrinate’ but do allow LGBTQ families and their children the chance to see themselves reflected in the world,”  said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

The book’s author Daniel Haack weighed in as well, saying it is “meant to be a fun little adventure story” and adding that the support he has received reminds him of “the brave prince and knight facing the dragon to protect the vulnerable citizens of their kingdom.”

“If the protesters are worried that reading this book will turn someone gay, I can easily refer them to all the gay adults who grew up only reading about straight romances,” Haack said.

Earlier this week, the nearby Morgantown Public Library System was met with an outcry from residents over a scheduled “drag queen story time” event and was forced to cancel the event after receiving violent anti-LGBT threats.

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