Our View

Dec 092004
Authors: Collegian Editorial Staff


Virginia Woolf. Walt Whitman. Willa Cather. Henry David Thoreau. Can you imagine going to a library and not being able to find these authors' books?

If an Alabama representative has his way, the shelves would be barren of some of their greatest works. Republican Rep. Gerald Allen is proposing a ban on all books with gay characters from public schools and universities in Alabama, and these famous authors all have homosexual characters or references in their books.

As part of an education in American culture, many English classes require these texts. The sexual orientation of an author or the characters of a novel has nothing to do with its literary merit or cultural value. Even if it did, what is wrong with homosexuality? What is this representative scared of?

Being gay is a human trait like any other. It's like having blonde hair or brown skin or green eyes. It is a personal preference and not justification for discrimination.

Free speech is a First Amendment right. Banning books violates this right as well as diminishes educational discourse. Making a subject taboo by eliminating it creates more misconceptions about that topic. We have come so far in the area of civil rights, and banning these books would just be a step backwards.

What's next? If this law were extended to art museums and history books, they would be void of the creative genius of such masterminds as DaVinci, Michelangelo, Socrates and Aristotle. Not to mention Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt and Alexander the Great.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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