Tuesday night Washington state’s Liberty Lake City Council voted 4-2 to not force the local public library to remove a popular, award-winning LGBTQ book, “Gender Queer,” from its shelves. It was the second loss for Erin Zasada, a local realtor, KREM reports.
Zasada first tried to get the book banned by filing a complaint with the local library. The book, an award-winning graphic novel, a memoir about coming out as nonbinary has been popular with teens but is housed in the adult section of the library which anyone can access. It’s also one of the most challenged books in school libraries across the country.
The form Zasada filled out asks if she had ever read the book. She checked “no,” KXLY reports. After a review, the library denied her request.
She filed an appeal, which went to the Liberty Lake City Council. During Tuesday’s meeting, there was a “heated discussion” after hearing public comments from parents who were both for and against banning the book.
“I don’t believe in banning books, period,” Zasada told the city council, despite trying to get the book removed from the public library. “I don’t believe in that at all. This is not a First Amendment issue. This is not an attack on an LGBTQ group, this is a fight against sexually explicit content directly aimed at minors.”
Her remarks closely mirror those of a conservative activist in Florida, who The New York Times mentioned just days earlier in an article about the book:
“It’s not a First Amendment issue, this is not going against L.G.B.T.Q. groups, we’re citing it for sexually explicit content,” said Jennifer Pippin, a nurse in Sebastian, Fla., and the chairman of Moms for Liberty in Indian River County, where “Gender Queer” was banned from school libraries last fall after Pippin filed a complaint.
Meanwhile, Spokane’s Spokesman-Review reports Zasada “acknowledged she did not read the book in its entirety, but described it as pornographic, pointing to what she referred to as graphic pictures depicting oral sex.”
NCRM reached out to Zasada via email but did not receive a response.