Unrestricted Access to Sexually Explicit Material in Libraries
Illinois Passes Bill to Allow Unrestricted Access to Sexually Explicit Material in Libraries
An Illinois bill preventing library book bans has passed the Senate and is headed to Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-IL), who has said he will sign it.
While many parents are fighting against sexually explicit books being available to minors in their school libraries, Illinois is set to become the first state to move in the opposite direction and mandate that children be given unrestricted access to grooming material in libraries.
This new bill seeks to protect libraries “against attempts to ban, remove, or otherwise restrict access to books of other materials.”
HB2789 “adopt[s] the American Library Association’s (ALA) Library Bill of Rights that indicated materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”
The ALA’s Library Bill of Rights mandates that library materials “should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation,” or “because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”
This Bill of Rights also states that a “person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.”
Addressing the issue of allowing minors access to any material they wish, including that which is sexually explicit, the ALA has stated that they support “equal and equitable access to all library resources and services by users of all ages.”
“Equitable access to all library resources and services should not be abridged based on chronological age, apparent maturity, educational level, literacy skills, legal status, or through restrictive scheduling and use policies,” the ALA said.
Should a library in Illinois fail to accept the new policies of the new bill, it will become ineligible for state-funded grants.
“We feel we have to protect their bill of rights at this particular point in time because of the attack that has been made on libraries across the nation,” said Sen. Laura Murphy (D-IL), the Senate sponsor of the bill.
Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Alexi Giannoulias initiated the bill and praised it saying, “This landmark legislation is a triumph for our democracy, a win for First Amendment rights, and, most importantly, a great victory for future generations to come.”
“This bill protects our freedom of speech and equally important, our freedom to think critically,” added Giannoulias.
Republican lawmakers largely opposed this bill, with some criticizing it as an overreach of government power.
Recently, parents have been speaking out against their schools and libraries adding books to their collections that introduce sexual themes and activities to young children. Some of these books promote homosexuality and transgenderism, while others go to extremes and have pornographic material, describing sexual acts in great detail, sometimes with accompanying imagery.
For some reason, the Democrat party will not rest until all minors have unrestricted access to pornographic content in their libraries. Meanwhile, states like Florida and Texas have passed bills that are intended to restrict access to books that discuss race, gender identity, and sexually explicit materials.
If the bill is signed into law by Gov. Pritzker, it would take effect Jan 1, 2024.