Library patron tears off Advocate cover

BY Advocate.com Editors

November 21 2003 12:00 AM ET

The Virginia Gazette reports that a patron of the Williamsburg, Va., library faces a $1,000 fine for defacing a copy of The Advocate. John Callahan, 77, ripped off the cover of the November 11 issue, which featured a near-kiss between two bare-chested Cirque du Soleil performers, one white and one black. "I thought of my grandchildren, and I thought of impressionable teenagers, so I took the cover off," said Callahan. The veteran says he supports gays' freedom to be whoever they want but doesn't think his tax dollars should support a magazine that he calls "too much," adding, "As a taxpayer, I think it's terrible. They don't put Playboy in the library because it's considered immoral and indecent."

Library director John Moorman says he considers Callahan's vandalism to be a Class 1 misdemeanor. "Defacing library materials is not the proper way to handle this," he said. "People need to be more tolerant." Moorman says this is the first time someone has defaced an issue of The Advocate since the library began subscribing in January 2001 after receiving multiple requests from patrons. "We represent all the taxpayers," he said. "We are a community organization, and we serve the whole community."

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