Displays posted in the Temple Public Library in June 2017 during Pride Month is once again a big talker around town. Last year, activist group Concerned Christian Citizens said they took offense to the display feeling like the library was not remaining neutral on a controversial topic.
The group is now asking library and city officials to make a change.
"They crossed a line when they put up a celebratory promotional display of the LGBT lifestyle and let's face it the agenda to normalize it among our children. We're asking them to not put up any displays in the future about sexual issues that would betray their neutrality," said Joe Goodson, President of Concerned Christian Citizens.
After getting word of the Christian group’s demands, Belton Resident and LGBT member Roxann Patrick created a petition on Change.org Sunday saying the open display of information to the public needs to continue – citing The American Library Association’s Bill of Rights.
Three days later the petition has gathered more than 2,000 supporters.
“Being a lesbian, it is personal but more importantly being an educator it’s personal,” Patrick said. “I see students that struggle with a variety of different issues in their lives and to be able to come to a library and find a book that has information that might help them work through that is a right that I think all of my students and all teachers deserve.”
The city released the following statement:
"We are currently working on developing a library display policy and hope to have it in place early this year. The content of the policy is expected to include guidelines for the display of material within the library and criteria to be considered when selecting or approving display themes and materials.”
It is unclear if the city is drafting this new policy as a direct response to the Concerned Christian Citizens request.
Both groups said they plan to attend a meeting with the library board next Tuesday to voice their concerns.
Date: Tuesday January 16, 2018
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Temple Public Library