In a concerning turn of events, Clean Up Alabama, formerly known as Clean Up Prattville, has launched a campaign to reshape Alabama’s public libraries and remove LGBTQ+ books. Here’s the full story.
The Controversial Plans
Clean Up Alabama’s controversial plans were recently exposed in an email sent to its supporters, detailing their intention to amend the Anti-Obscenity Law.
The group’s agenda includes removing specific books and imposing severe penalties, including imprisonment, on librarians who provide LGBTQ+ books to kids.
If the new law passes, librarians could face up to one year in jail and a fine of $10,000.
Clean Up Alabama contends that any LGBTQ+-related content falls under the category of “material harmful to minors.”
Their website says that Alabama libraries are sharing books designed to confuse children about sexuality and expose them to inappropriate material.
This viewpoint was reinforced by Clean Up Alabama member Hannah Rees, who voiced her concerns during a Prattville City Council meeting, highlighting Trans content aimed at young readers.
Rees said, “When we are talking about sexual content for kids is where I draw the line that is all that we are saying. The books we originally found were just very radical, gender ideologies, where it was talking to kids, very, very small kids, about transitioning into the opposite sex.”
A pivotal moment occurred during a city council meeting in Prattville, where Clean Up Alabama sought to strip the local library of its autonomy through a service contract.
Don’t Say Gay Law
Despite a close vote, the Prattville City Council ultimately rejected the proposal in a 4-3 decision, safeguarding the library’s independence.
Beyond their aim to penalize librarians, Clean Up Alabama’s objectives extend to influencing legislation in schools and public spaces.
They seek to align library practices with Alabama’s version of the Don’t Say Gay law, and they endorse House Bill 401, which categorizes drag performances as “sexual conduct.”
This move implies that LGBTQ+ content should be classified similarly.
Surprisingly, Clean Up Alabama has garnered support from at least four Alabama legislators, including House Majority Leader Scott Stadthagen, who sponsored the state’s Don’t Say Gay bill.
The Governor’s Concern
Moreover, a letter from Governor Kay Ivey expressed similar concerns regarding the exposure of children to sexually suggestive materials.
Ivey pointed to specific books in libraries, such as “Who Are You? The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity” and “The Pronoun Book,” as areas of concern.
Several social media users expressed their thoughts on the incident.
One Twitter user wrote, “This is child endangerment – we need these laws to protect our most vulnerable, our children.”
Another user added, “It’s Alabama. Maybe they should worry more about people marrying their family members rather than a nonissue.”
A third user commented, “Alabama is now all it will ever be. It will always be a homophobic, racist, bigoted state on welfare claiming they love god.”
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / yurakrasil