Oklahoma lawmakers vow more work on gay books policy  

BY Advocate.com Editors

May 26 2005 12:00 AM ET

The Oklahoma
house approved a $6.68 million budget for state libraries
Tuesday and vowed to study local library policies on the
placement of gay-themed books on children's shelves. A
member of the house subcommittee that handles funds
for the state Department of Libraries, Republican
representative Sally Kern, had threatened to withhold extra
funding for libraries over the issue of gay-themed books.
The chairman of the committee, Republican
representative Tad Jones, acknowledged the
concerns and said more action would be taken on the issue
next year.

The Oklahoma
house approved a $6.68 million budget for state libraries
Tuesday and vowed to study local library policies on the
placement of gay-themed books on children's shelves. A
member of the house subcommittee that handles funds
for the state Department of Libraries, Republican
representative Sally Kern, had threatened to withhold extra
funding for libraries over the issue of gay-themed books.
The chairman of the committee, Republican
representative Tad Jones, acknowledged the
concerns and said more action would be taken on the issue
next year. Earlier this month the house passed a resolution
urging library officials to restrict children's access
to books with gay themes. Kern has asked the Oklahoma
City Metropolitan Library Commission to place the book
King and King and similar books in the adult
section. She made the request after receiving complaints
from two constituents who objected to the book's
content. King and King is a children's tale about a
prince who shuns princesses in favor of another prince. Jones said other libraries have reported that
they do not stock the books and that others, including
those in Tulsa, had moved them to a Parenting shelf in
the Children's section. The Department of Libraries sends
money to local libraries. The department sought an
additional $841,000 for the fiscal year that begins
July 1. Jones said the bill represents a $400,000
increase, including employee pay raises. The house voted
90-8 for the spending bill and sent it on to Gov. Brad
Henry for his signature. (AP)

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