This is not the longer posting (see here for that). But our library received yet another challenge to "Uncle Bobby's Wedding," apparently based on my earlier response.
First, this new patron stated her belief that the topic of a gay wedding is inappropriate because same sex marriage is illegal in 48 states, and specifically, in Colorado. Second, she claimed that she knows at least 100 people ready to fill out a petition against the book.
In response to the first point, I pointed out that we don't know where "Uncle Bobby's Wedding" takes place -- it could be in California or Massachusetts. It could be in Canada. It could be in a wholly fictitious universe with its own laws. Nonetheless, I wrote, "This principle would seem to require librarians to be familiar with all Colorado laws, and to read each work we purchase, or consider purchasing, to determine whether any of the characters might violate those laws [no matter where or when they live]. Thousands and thousands of our books feature true or fictional tales of murder, robbery, kidnapping – all of which violate Colorado laws. Under this principle, there could be no books in the library in which characters escape from one country to enter another illegally – not even in [or from, which is what I meant] Nazi Germany – because that would violate Colorado immigration laws. The story of Robin Hood, in which a thief and robber is regarded as a hero, would also be forbidden." I concluded that the principle, in general, would be impossible for libraries to apply.
In response to the second, I offered to meet with the group of 100 people who share her perspective. I wrote, "To your mind, I suspect, the issue is about advocacy for a perspective you oppose. To mine, it's about the role of the public library as common and neutral ground, as a steward of public funds to represent all of the public. It's a fair topic, and certainly deserving of community discussion."
Alternatively, there are two other options: appeal my decision to the Board, or fill out the petition, give me a contact person, and I could respond to that person based on the arguments it presented.
I don't know yet where it goes from here. But it seems clear that this is an organized effort, and that my last response has been shared. I wanted to record the argument used, however, and my response to it.