I was delighted to note just a moment ago that Dirty Harry, one of my favorite bloggers (and a conservative), called it a “dumb thing” when Gerald Allen, an Alabama Republican lawmaker, proposed censoring books by gay authors. Dirty Harry links to JunkYardBlog, another conservative blog which also called the proposed censorship “dumb.”
Fortunately, this legislator’s bill failed. JunkYardBlog is right to fault him for proposing such sweeping legislation. But, he goes on to say that this “didn’t happen in a vacuum,” suggesting that Allen is likely responding to “the long train of advocacy dressed up as education that has been going in public schools for most of the past generation.”
I recommend JunkYard’s post, especially for critics of this blog, not because I think he’s right, but because he raises a point that many conservatives–and just social conservatives–have been bringing up time and again. They fear that liberal educators are trying to push an advocacy agenda on schoolchildren. And sometimes with solid evidence.
I’m of two minds on the issue. While I would like children to be exposed to positive portrayals of gay people, I also believe in local control of education which, in many cases, would mean that some schools boards would prevent even high schools from offering such positive portrayals.
JunkYard is right that “reasonable limits on the availability of objectionable material should be expected” in school libraries. The problem here is who gets to define what’s reasonable.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com