Free expression groups ‘troubled’ by LGBTQ display ban at Washington County libraries

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WASHINGTON COUNTY (News4Utah) – The National Coalition Against Censorship is weighing in on a controversy with the Washington County Library System.

Washington County Library Director Joel Tucker decided not to allow LGBTQ-themed displays in any of the eight branches after receiving complaints.

Tucker said the reasoning behind the display ban is to “remain neutral.”

“We celebrate diversity and love the differences that we as people have, but I do as a library want to be more neutral on how we talk about and display topics,” said Tucker. 

The National Coalition Against Censorship penned a letter to Tucker and said the organization was “deeply troubled” about the display ban. The group warned that the ban poses a “serious threat to equal rights and freedom of expression and sets a dangerous precedent by perpetuating a culture of prejudice and intolerance. “

“A public library’s mission is to foster a culture of inclusion, open dialogue, and tolerance,” said the NCAC

Read the entire letter from NCAC

The letter also encourages Washington County libraries to establish transparent, viewpoint-neutral procedures for handling complaints about displays. The organizations offered to help the county in developing such procedures.

The American Library Association also voiced its disapproval of the situation saying the display ban is possibly in violation of the Library Bill of Rights.

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