School ban on gay anthology challenged by US free speech organisations | Books | guardian.co.uk
American free speech organisations are fighting a decision by a New Jersey school to remove a critically acclaimed anthology of writing about teenage homosexuality from library shelves after parents described it as vulgar and obscene.
Revolutionary Voices, a collection of stories, poems and artwork by young homosexuals, was banned at Rancocas Valley Regional High School last week following a campaign by the local chapter of Glenn Beck's conservative 9.12 project. Local grandmother and 9.12 member Beverly Marinelli told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the book was "pervasively vulgar, obscene, and inappropriate", while insisting that she is "not a homophobe".
But a coalition of free speech groups has jumped to the book's defence, saying that residents "have no right to impose their views on others or to demand that the contents of the library reflect their personal, religious, or moral values".
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"No one has to read something just because it's on the library shelf," the letter continued. "No book is right for everyone, and the role of the library is to allow students to make choices according to their own interests, experiences, and family values ... Even if the books are too mature for some students, they will be meaningful to others."