Inner West Sydney, Australia Mayor calls LGBTQ+ book ban in libraries ‘pathetic’

The Mayor of Inner West Sydney has called the LGBTQ+ book ban in Cumberland City Council, New South Wales, Australia “pathetic”.

LGBTQ+ book bans have been the subject of political attention in the US, but it appears that queer media now faces the same type of censorship across the Pacific in Australia

Last week, the Cumberland City Council voted in favour of banning its eight publicly funded libraries from offering any books which have content on same-sex parents. 

The ban was brought forward by city councillor and former Cumberland City mayor Steve Christou, in a move which was branded as “deliberately divisive”. 

Christou claimed that parents were “distraught” upon coming across the non-fiction children’s book Same-Sex Parents by Holly Duhig, which is suitable for children aged five to seven. 

The book tackles difficult situations, like step-parenting, death, and bullying, in an accessible way for children to understand. However, the innocent book proved to be enough to take down LGBTQ+-friendly material from all libraries in the New South Wales constituency. 

However, Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne reaffirmed his support for all families – not just heteronormative ones.

“Inner West Council will continue to provide books and resources for all families, from all backgrounds, and will continue hosting drag story time events too,” Byrne said in a statement.

“If someone as deliberately divisive as Councillor Steve Christou thinks the Inner West is too inclusive and respectful, we wear that as a badge of honour.

“Councils have a responsibility to serve all children and families equally. Politicians punching down at constituents they are meant to serve and represent is beneath contempt.

“Banning books is something we would expect to see in Putin’s Russia, not modern, inclusive Sydney.”

He concluded: “We will not back down in the face of intimidation from such a small minority or bigoted reactionaries.”

The NSW government has warned that the council’s recent vote might be a violation of the state’s Anti-Discrimination Act, and has threatened to pull funding from the libraries in question. 

The post Inner West Sydney, Australia Mayor calls LGBTQ+ book ban in libraries ‘pathetic’ appeared first on PinkNews | Latest lesbian, gay, bi and trans news | LGBTQ+ news.