The Left2Right blog discusses Hillsborough County [FL] and their legislation requiring that government agencies — including the West Gate library — “abstain from acknowledging, promoting, and participating in Gay Pride recognition and events”
[M]andated silence on the topic seems antithetical to what libraries are about. Libraries are for learning stuff, and displays don’t have to take sides. That’s why I say proponents and opponents of gay rights alike ought to agree that the county blew it, in a big, bad, awful way. The real divide here is between those fond of vibrant democratic debate and those opposed to it. So I’d let the library mount a display airing all sides of the dispute. Indeed, I’d encourage them to. Precisely because there is ongoing controversy about gay rights, and because we think (don’t we?) that both sides have legitimate views, no reasonable observer would take a library exhibit’s inclusion of critics of gay rights as silently scornful. The county’s measure makes it seem like they think the very topic of gay pride is unspeakable, indecent — something that must remain deeply closeted. That position, and not any measured view on gay marriage or civil unions or antidiscrimination laws, is reprehensible.