Dec 092004
Authors: Megan Read

Republican Rep. Gerald Allen of Alabama recently announced that he is proposing a bill to ban novels with gay characters from all public school and university libraries.

Even though this potential ban would only affect the state of Alabama, some CSU students and faculty are shocked by the thought of books being banned from public use.

Louann Reid, an English professor at CSU, thinks a book ban of any kind could produce negative effects on society.

"One of the things that's wrong with it is it's denying really good literature and information people need to have. If he wants to include gay and lesbian authors in the ban, he would be including some of the most classic authors," Reid said.

Members of CSU's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Student Services think that banning books because they contain homosexual characters infringes on their rights.

"I personally don't think the government should censor books in general. I think their reasoning for banning books with gay characters is that they want to take homosexuality out of the media. If people aren't aware of it, then less people will be coming out," said Nina Grosser, freshman fine arts major and member of GLBTSS.

Sarah Stemming, a freshman psychology major, said banning books denies the public's right to information.

"The entire idea of a public school and library is to educate the public without any bias. To try and erase certain lifestyles from the public and public eye is detrimental to society," Stemming said.

Andy Bullecks, a sophomore history major, does not believe the bill will pass.

"I'm personally not surprised this is being talked about, but I don't think the bill will pass. Banning books is an un-American concept and if you don't think so, read the Constitution," Bullecks said.

Chuck Fogland, president of the College Republicans at CSU and a junior political science major, said books should not be banned unless they will cause physical harm to society.

"I wouldn't be for a ban unless a book is inciting violence or hatred against people. Those kinds of things can and should be banned. It's a very delicate situation. Where they ban books, soon (banning) people will follow," Fogland said.

However, Fogland also said parents should be able to choose what their children learn. If parents disagree with their children being taught anything with homosexual content, they should be able to have a say in it.

"Public education has moved to the left and sometimes has an anti-Christian agenda," Fogland said. "Parents should have more say in what is taught."

Rep. Allen could not be reached for comment.




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