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Queer Louisianans Are Fighting Book Bans And Winning

St. Tammany Parish, LA.— The governing board of St. Tammany Parish Library is meeting one August evening in the squint-inducing fluorescence of council chambers. The agenda includes the summer reading program, the latest financial reports, and whether a young adult novel about two teenagers seeking to break a world record for kissing should remain on shelves. There has been a public complaint. “We’ll move on now to the statement of concern regarding the title Two Boys Kissing,” says Rebecca Taylor, board president of the library, which is in southeastern Louisiana. ​“As a reminder, your public comment must directly relate to this agenda item.”

How El Paso Is Fighting Back Against Book Bans In Texas

When El Paso teen Alex Reyes read the “Magnus Chase” fantasy trilogy while in the seventh grade, they immediately identified with one of the main characters Alex Fierro. It wasn’t just because of their shared first name, but because of their shared experience as gender fluid teenagers. “It was the first time I had read a book where I saw something that I kind of felt similar to, relate to,” Reyes said. “It’s stuck with me for so long. They have so much more going on, and the sexuality is just a part of it. … It’s not all that I am, but it’s a part of me.” Rick Riordan’s “Magnus Chase” series, like many of the books Reyes reads, is being targeted by Texas legislators and school boards nationwide.

Amazon Bans Book Exposing US COVID-19 Chaos

A decision by the Amazon company to block a book focused on a scientific and cooperative approach to COVID-19 amounts to corporate information control operating at a new intensity. This censorship occurs while almost every form of U.S. media permits and promotes racist, unscientific and thoroughly confusing information. The censored book is “Capitalism on a Ventilator: The Impact of COVID-19 in China & the U.S.” This anthology of 55 articles by a broad range of social justice authors discuss the importance of free health care, social distancing, testing, protective equipment, education and social mobilizations during the pandemic. 

Arabs And Jews Protest Israeli ‘Book Ban’ With A Kiss

By Renee Ghert-Zand for Times of Israel. Time Out Tel Aviv responded to the Education Ministry’s barring from a reading list for high schoolers of a novel depicting an Israeli-Palestinian love story with a video showing Jews and Arabs locking lips. This new video is modeled on the “First Kiss” video released in March 2014, which went viral before people caught on that it was actually an advertisement for a fashion line starring models. The announcement of the book’s barring led to an exceptionally high demandat bookstores throughout the country, and to a subsequent concession by the ministry that the book can be taught in schools where teachers wish to do so. According to Time Out Tel Aviv, the pairs appearing in the video are either couples, friends or total strangers. In some cases the pairs are the same sex, and in others they are not. The magazine called the kissers “brave,” saying many of the people approached had refused to participate in the project given the charged climate and touchy subject. Each of the participants provided an explanation about why they decided to pucker up for the camera.
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