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North Dakota Considers Bill to Ban “Sexually Explicit” and “Gender Identity” Library Books

By Lori Perkins


In case you can’t read between the lines, this means a lot of romance novels published today, as well as all the YA/NA titles that address gender.


The bill, which would prohibit books depicting sexual or gender identity, proposes up to 30 days imprisonment for librarians who refuse to remove banned titles. This is dangerous shit.


The Republican-majority North Dakota state House Judiciary Committee heard arguments but did not vote on the measure, which applies to visual depictions of “sexually explicit” content (so that would be book covers, graphic novels and manga) and proposes up to 30 days imprisonment for librarians who refuse to remove the offending books.


According to NBC News, in addition to banning depictions of “sexual identity” and “gender identity,” the bill specifies 10 more things that library books cannot visually depict, including “sexual intercourse,” “sexual preference” and “sexual perversion,” — though it does not define any of those terms. The proposal does not apply to books that have “serious artistic significance” or “materials used in science courses,” among other exceptions.


The bill would allow prosecutors to charge any person who displays these materials at places that children visit with a class B misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is 30 days of imprisonment and a $1,500 fine.


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