Opponents of Gay Guinea Pig Book Start to Organize

Originally posted on Mombian.com

A few weeks ago I
reported on the first challenge
to Uncle Bobby’s Wedding

, a children’s book featuring two gay guinea pigs who marry.

Today, library director James LaRue, who wrote a
sensitive, balanced response to the initial challenge
reports that a second patron has challenged the book
and asked
for its removal from the Douglas County Libraries in Colorado. The
new patron argued that “the topic of a gay wedding is
inappropriate because same sex marriage is illegal in 48 states,
and specifically, in Colorado.” She also said “she knows at
least 100 people ready to fill out a petition against the

LaRue wrote back to point out that the setting of Uncle
Bobby’s Wedding
is unknown, so we don’t know if it occurs
in a place where marriage of same-sex couples is illegal. He also
stressed that it would be impossible for librarians to be familiar
with all Colorado laws and to review each potential library
acquisition to determine if any of the characters violate those
laws. He explains:

Thousands and thousands of our books feature true or
fictional tales of murder, robbery, kidnapping – all of which
violate Colorado laws. . . . The story of Robin Hood, in which a
thief and robber is regarded as a hero, would also be forbidden.”
I concluded that the principle, in general, would be impossible for
libraries to apply.

LaRue then offered to meet with the woman and the 100 people who
agree with her. He notes that while she views this as a matter of a
library advocating for a perspective she opposes, he says “it’s
about the role of the public library as common and neutral ground,
as a steward of public funds to represent all of the public. It’s
a fair topic, and certainly deserving of community

He also said the woman could appeal his decision to the library
Board, or submit the petition and let him respond to it. He views
this as an organized effort, but says, “I don’t know yet where
it goes from here.”

Trying to ban books because the fictional characters do something
that violates state law? I’d like to think any court would see
this for the absurdity that it is. I’m realistic enough, though,
to bet that this is going to be a nasty fight. I’ll keep you
posted as the story develops.