July/August 2022 Church & State Magazine

Md. Candidate Checks Out LGBTQ-Themed Library Books To ‘Protect’ Children

  Md. Candidate Checks Out LGBTQ-Themed Library Books To ‘Protect’ Children

A woman who is a candidate for the Frederick County, Md., Board of Education checked out 20 LGBTQ-themed books from a public library in June because, she said, she wanted to protect children from merely just seeing them.

The books were on display at the Brunswick Public Library as part of the recognition of Pride Month. The display was in the main lobby area, and the books covered topics like LGBTQ history, LGBTQ influences on music and books aimed at parents who have LGBTQ children.

Heather Fletcher said she check­ed out the books to make the library “a safe place for children,” reported the Frederick News-Post.

Fletcher told the newspaper she was “disturbed” by the display, ad­ding that she did not want her three children to see the word “queer” on a book.

“This has nothing to do with the gay community,” Fletcher said. “It has to do with the preservation of innocence.”

Fletcher also took a cup that contained pins containing pronouns. (Such pins are designed to let others know what the wearer’s preferred pronouns are.) Fletcher accused the library of spending taxpayer money on the pins, but Samantha Jones, a spokeswoman for the library system, noted that a Friends of the Library group had paid for the pins with privately raised funds.

Jones told the News-Post that after Fletcher checked out the books, library employees refigured the display. She told the paper, “We support the rights of all library customers and program participants to form their own opinions of books or collections.”

Fletcher, who later returned the books, has vowed to stop patronizing county libraries.

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