You’ll remember that some Christian loonies in Wisconsin wanted the right to burn a book in public because they’d been “exposed” to it in a library display.
The book is called Baby Be-Bop, it concerns a gay teenager who’s beaten almost to unconsciousness for being gay and receives mental visits from ancestors, “each telling a haunting, lyrical tale of love, faith and self-acceptance”, according to the Amazon website blurb.
The Guardian carried more on this yesterday. It tells how the Christian lunatics found the book to be “explicitly vulgar, racial [sic], and anti-Christian”.
The Guardian story continues:
Their suit says that “the plaintiffs, all of whom are elderly, claim their mental and emotional well-being was damaged by this book at the library”, and that it contains derogatory language that could “put one’s life in possible jeopardy, adults and children alike”.
“The word ‘faggot’ is very derogatory and slanderous to all males,” the suit continues. “Using the word ‘Nigger’ is dangerously offensive, disrespectful to all people. These words can permeate [sic] violence.” The suit also claims that the book “constitutes a hate crime, and that it degrades the community”.
“They’ve filed a claim against the city of West Bend [in Wisconsin] and the city has to decide if it is valid,” said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, acting director of the ALA’s [American Library Association’s] office for intellectual freedom. “Their insurance company is evaluating the claim, but I would be very surprised if they found any merit in it . . . Should they find any merit in this claim, we would certainly support the library in fighting it.”
Somehow, this kind of claim renders me speechless. So I’ll shut up and let you gasp.