In a powerful statement, Jill Biden, the First Lady of the United States, has publicly condemned the alarming rise of book bans targeting LGBTQ+ literature. This trend restricts access to important stories and information, denying individuals their right to read and explore diverse perspectives. Her firm stance highlights the urgent need for inclusivity and acceptance in society, advocating for a world where every voice is heard and celebrated.
At PFLAG’s convention she praised the organisation for standing up to states who are banning books and school districts who are censoring history and restricting what students can read.
Throughout the US, book bans are targeting LGBTQ+ stories and non-fiction books. The American Library Association found 1,269 attempts to censor or ban 2,571 titles in 2022 alone. Texas was the worst offender.
The fight back
But it’s not all bad news. Along with Jill Biden’s statement, the US state of Illinois has banned book bans! In June, the state passed a law with the governor, J B Pritzker, saying:
“I want our children to learn our history, warts and all. Read as much as you can. Read different perspectives. Read challenging ideas. Book bans are about censorship, marginalising people, marginalising ideas and facts. Regimes ban books, not democracies.”
US President Joe Biden, is doing “everything within his power to protect LGBTQ+ kids and support families”, according to Jill Biden, adding the president is “working to combat the dangerous, cruel practice of conversion therapy” and “committing more resources to address youth homelessness”.
Let’s hope that the US can, once again, be a beacon of hope for the worldwide LGBTQ+ community.
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