Two pro-censorship bills have been introduced in the 68th Legislative Session and are currently being considered in the Judiciary Committees. Support North Dakota public libraries and email each member of the Judiciary Committees with a “do not pass” recommendation.
House Judiciary Committee Members: https://www.ndlegis.gov/assembly/68-2023/committees/house/judiciary
About HB 1205: This bill relates to “prohibiting public libraries from maintaining sexually explicit books.” HB 1205 endorses censorship, government overreach, and anti LGBTQIA+ sentiments. If a public library has in its collection any material with visual depictions of “explicit sexual material” and someone challenges this in court, the library and/or library director may be charged with a class B misdemeanor, fines, or both. This could include romance novels, unless the covers are removed; movies with sex scenes; any books with images on the covers or inside books relating to sexual identity and gender identity. What it comes down to is that parents should choose what their kids are reading, not the government.
Senate Judiciary Committee Members: https://ndlegis.gov/assembly/68-2023/committees/senate/judiciary
About SB 2123: This bill relates to “displaying objectionable materials” and endorses censorship and government overreach. If any organization willfully displays “objectionable materials,” whether image or written format, and someone challenges said material in court, the organization and/or person in charge may be charged with a class B misdemeanor, fines, or both. From the public library perspective, this would be a logistical nightmare. Librarians would have to monitor the contents of every title in the collection and the age of who is looking at them or face the penalty of a class B misdemeanor, fines, or both if they don’t remove material based on someone’s nebulous and subjective definition of “objectionable” content.
Support North Dakota public libraries and email each member of the Judiciary Committees with a “do not pass” recommendation.