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ACLU Files Suit Against UT School District For Pulling Book About Lesbian Family

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against Utah’s Davis School District after elementary schools there were told to restrict access to a children’s book centered around a gay family.

Patricia Polacco’s In Our Mothers’ House tells the story of a young African-American girl with two white mothers and adopted multiracial siblings. It was originally approved for the the Easy Reading section of Windridge Elementary School but, after some parents complained it “normalizes a lifestyle we don’t agree with,” librarians were instructed to keep the title behind the counter—and require students to get a parental permission slip to check it out.

The suit was filed on behalf of Tina Weber, whose children attend a school where the book was banned: “I was shocked when I heard that a handful of parents had made a decision about whether everyone else’s kids could have access to this book,” said Weber. “Our job as parents is to make sure we teach our children about our values. We can do that without imposing our personal views on the rest of the school community.”

Complicating matters is Utah’s sex-education laws, which prohibit any “advocacy of homosexuality.” If that sounds like the gay-propaganda ban in St. Petersburg, that’s because it amounts to the same thing. The ACLU is arguing the book simply tells a story and isn’t “advocating” anything one way or the other.

And as ACLU attorney Joshua Block points out, “children with same-sex parents attend schools across the country—including Davis County. Removing books from the shelves won’t change that.”

Polacco, who often writes about families from different backgrounds, wrote Mother’s House after attending a school assembly where a girl with same-sex parents was barred from reading an essay about her family because a teacher said “You don’t come from a real family.”

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Nov 14, 2012
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

  • 3 Comments
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      Utah… kinda says it all, doesn’t it? They, along with Texas and other southern states, need to pull their collective heads out of their underwear and recognize that the world, and the USA has not only changed, but is continuing to change, with or without them. The election results should have been an earthquake of come uppance to them on that score! So sad for them!

      Nov 14, 2012 at 6:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jerry_pritikin
      jerry_pritikin

      This is a state who’s history would prefer that children have multiple mothers, just as long as there was one father present. I’m glad to see the ACLU involved, their history has a record of fighting for an even playing field. The teacher claims gay parents are not real… once again there are those who believe their faith should be their basis for public school rules. When I lived in Miami Beach and going to public grammar school back in the 1950s,I had to listen to Christian Prayers every morning and I’m Jewish. Thankfully years later after the ACLU fought to ban prayers in school all the way up to the Supreme Court.. Prayers are no longer allowed. I hope the ACLU will have the same success in this case too.

      Nov 14, 2012 at 6:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      I bought this book the last time Queerty had an article about it. It’s good. I say fork over 25 and support this author. Censorship sucks. Utah sucks. Mormons suck. I’ll never forgive them for Prop H8. Romney sucks bigger than any of them. If they flew off to the Planet Kolob tonight, it would lift our hearts.

      Nov 15, 2012 at 12:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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