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Contact:  Larra Clark
Media Relations Manager

For Immediate Release
December 2, 2004 


American Library Association denounces proposed bill to ban
state funds for gay and lesbian books

(CHICAGO)  The following is a statement from American Library Association (ALA) President Carol Brey-Casiano:

"It is alarming and discouraging that Alabama state Representative Gerald Allen is proposing to ban books about lesbian and gay people from public libraries, schools and universities.  Not only is the bill unworkable, it is discriminatory and unconstitutional.

"Libraries are for everyone - of all backgrounds and viewpoints - and provide a broad spectrum of materials from which to choose.  This is what makes libraries the most democratic of institutions in this country.

"Every year, the American Library Association learns of hundreds of attempts to remove books from our public libraries and schools.  Most of these books stay available because teachers, librarians and community members stand up for literature and the freedom to choose what to read and view.  We trust that Alabama legislators will stand up to this latest attempt to censor our library collections."