Upset over LGBTQ books, a Michigan town defunds its library in tax vote

Morrison71

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What started as a fight over a LGBTQ-themed graphic novel may end with the closure of a west Michigan public library.

Voters in Jamestown Township, a politically conservative community in Ottawa County, rejected renewal Tuesday of a millage that would support the Patmos Library. That vote guts the library's operating budget in 2023 — 84 percent of the library's $245,000 budget comes from property taxes collected through a millage.

Without a millage, the library is likely to run out of money sometime late next year, said Larry Walton, library board president. "I wasn't expecting anything like this," Walton told Bridge Michigan Tuesday. "The library is the center of the community. For individuals to be short sighted to close that down over opposing LGBTQ is very disappointing."

Voters on Tuesday rejected the millage renewal by a 25-point margin — 62 percent to 37 percent — on the same day voters approved millages for road improvements and the fire department.

When the Patmos staff and elected board of directors declined to remove the books from the library's collection, some upset residents organized an effort to defeat the library's millage renewal.

The group, called Jamestown Conservatives, passed out flyers at the town's Memorial Day parade that referenced "Gender Queer: a Memoir," a Pride Month display at the library and a director who, in the group's words, "promoted the LGBTQ ideology."

"Pray that we can make changes and make the Patmos Library a safe and neutral place for our children," the flyer said.

But Walton didn't appear ready to compromise Tuesday. He said he didn't believe the library needed a wake-up call and shouldn't remove books.

"A wake-up call to what? To take LGBTQ books off the shelf and then they will give us money? What do you call that? Ransom?

"We stand behind the fact that our community is made up of a very diverse group of individuals, and we as a library cater to the diversity of our community," he said.
 

Titus Andronicus

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So how many library cards are outstanding in that community?

How many Gay folks live in that town?

How many bisexual folks live there?

How many Trans people live there?

How many of those are post-operative?

How many are preoperative?

Is there even much of a demand for this stuff?

How many library cards are issued to this combined community?

Any?
 
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NorthernHawkeye

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"LGBTQ-themed graphic novel "

Regardless of sexuality, most people don't want graphic sexual books in their library.

The book in question is well documented.
 
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globalhawk

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You and other keep saying that. That's not a winning argument. People simply don't want their public library distributing graphic content.
It's a choice to check out the book. Move on if you don't like it. Most people are definitely not against having this book in a public library.
 
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THE_DEVIL

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Hell, Michigan
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Its just starting. The christo fascists are just now getting their wings.
Amanda Ensing, one of the organizers of the Jamestown Conservatives group, emerged from the library Tuesday wearing an “I voted” sticker. “They are trying to groom our children to believe that it’s OK to have these sinful desires,” Ensing said of library officials. “It’s not a political issue, it’s a Biblical issue.”
 

globalhawk

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People don’t want sexually graphic books that are aimed at kids in a public or school library. Why some people insist on them is a mystery.
No. The far right and religious want to remove books that are aimed at certain populations. Should we remove anatomy books as well.
 
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NorthernHawkeye

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Religious zealots usually are. Western Michigan is prime territory for that.

Edit: Now let's talk about the country's opinion as a whole.

What information/data do you have that backs up your position that "most people" support having a graphic book in their public library?
 
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Joes Place

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What started as a fight over a LGBTQ-themed graphic novel may end with the closure of a west Michigan public library.

Voters in Jamestown Township, a politically conservative community in Ottawa County, rejected renewal Tuesday of a millage that would support the Patmos Library. That vote guts the library's operating budget in 2023 — 84 percent of the library's $245,000 budget comes from property taxes collected through a millage.

Without a millage, the library is likely to run out of money sometime late next year, said Larry Walton, library board president. "I wasn't expecting anything like this," Walton told Bridge Michigan Tuesday. "The library is the center of the community. For individuals to be short sighted to close that down over opposing LGBTQ is very disappointing."

Voters on Tuesday rejected the millage renewal by a 25-point margin — 62 percent to 37 percent — on the same day voters approved millages for road improvements and the fire department.

When the Patmos staff and elected board of directors declined to remove the books from the library's collection, some upset residents organized an effort to defeat the library's millage renewal.

The group, called Jamestown Conservatives, passed out flyers at the town's Memorial Day parade that referenced "Gender Queer: a Memoir," a Pride Month display at the library and a director who, in the group's words, "promoted the LGBTQ ideology."

"Pray that we can make changes and make the Patmos Library a safe and neutral place for our children," the flyer said.

But Walton didn't appear ready to compromise Tuesday. He said he didn't believe the library needed a wake-up call and shouldn't remove books.

"A wake-up call to what? To take LGBTQ books off the shelf and then they will give us money? What do you call that? Ransom?

"We stand behind the fact that our community is made up of a very diverse group of individuals, and we as a library cater to the diversity of our community," he said.

Wha?

This sounds an awful lot like "cancel culture".
But that cannot be. The GOP is AGAINST "cancel culture", so they say...
 
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globalhawk

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I haven't changed anything.

The article said it was "a LGBTQ-themed graphic novel..."

Everyone of my posts has addressed the "graphic" aspect.
Did you read my link? 71 percent of Americans oppose removing books from school and public libraries. You are too religious for the rest of us.

The article said it was "a LGBTQ-themed graphic novel...
 

NorthernHawkeye

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So why don't they just remove the book instead of defunding the library?

From the article (He's the board president):
But Walton didn't appear ready to compromise Tuesday. He said he didn't believe the library needed a wake-up call and shouldn't remove books.
 

Huey Grey

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That's the fun thing about libraries....you're not REQUIRED or OBLIGED to check out any book you don't like or agree with.
Rs won't be happy until all the books are white, straight, and have a two inch penis, which is what most Rs have.
 
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srams21

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From the article (He's the board president):
But Walton didn't appear ready to compromise Tuesday. He said he didn't believe the library needed a wake-up call and shouldn't remove books.
So they would rather not have a library at all rather than one slightly off color book? Are they that triggered? Is someone forcing them to check out the book?
 

srams21

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That's the fun thing about libraries....you're not REQUIRED or OBLIGED to check out any book you don't like or agree with.
Plus, as I'm thinking about this. What pct of kids even go to a public library anymore? Like 1% of that town, maybe? And deep in the bowels of this library is this book that likely no one would know about if some bored stay-at-home soccer mom didn't bring it to everyone's attention via Facebook.

I think some of these moms need to get a life. It's amazing how many 40 year old moms spend all day getting outraged on Facebook and then go take away a book that probably 1 kid has checked out.
 

NorthernHawkeye

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