NH LGBTQI+, Progressive, Youth Organizations Praise White House For Announcing Coordinator to Protect LGBTQI+ Youth From Book Bans, Among Other Efforts Announced During Pride Month
New Hampshire organizations note importance of move in light of several local book ban attempts in the Live Free or Die state
CONCORD, NH – Today, the White House announced a new coordinator to protect LGBTQI+ students from book bans. This is an important step as the banning of books has a negative impact on youth, make it harder for kids to learn, and may violate civil rights laws.
Members of New Hampshire youth, progressive, and LGBTQI+ organizations issued the following statements:
“Thankfully, communities across New Hampshire are calling out book bans for the thinly veiled attacks on LGBTQI+ people they are – whether it’s protesting DeSantis’ policies with a banned book reading, launching a local petition to successfully block a censorship law, or asking neighbors to speak out against censorship at local school board meetings,” said Linds Jakows, co-founder of 603 Equality, an emerging statewide LGBTQI+ advocacy group. “School and community libraries should be safe havens, however we’ve seen increasingly violent threats over books and inclusive family events like drag story hours, even to the point of some events being forced to cancel. These violent threats in New Hampshire come from local white supremacists, including the Proud Boys. It’s going to take all of us to continue to ensure people of all races, genders, and sexual orientations can read, speak, and express themselves freely.”
“We are thankful that in New Hampshire, when a lone book-banner or two attempts to manufacture outrage against LGBTQI+ or non-white stories, communities have quickly shown up to stop censorship and instead demonstrate the strong, inclusive, and welcoming communities we deserve,” said Sarah Robinson, Education Justice Director with Granite State Progress. “Public education and libraries are the bedrock of our democracy, and attempts to use book bans to drive a wedge between parents and their local public schools by targeting LGBTQI+ youth or other students are being rightly rejected here. We are thankful for the White House stepping up to ensure additional support for communities facing these attacks.”
“Part of supporting LGBTQI+ youth is ensuring they have access to materials where they can see themselves represented,” said Jessica Goff, Community Outreach and Education Coordinator with Seacoast Outright. “This Pride Month, we are grateful the administration has made the freedom to read about people like us, and different from us, a priority.”
“We saw through the NH ‘banned concepts’ law for attempting to limit what students can learn about our history. Now, we are showing up to school board meetings to tell them we should be strengthening school library resources, not limiting them,” said Erika Perez, Political Director with New Hampshire Youth Movement. “While some in New Hampshire believe that ‘live free’ stops at public schools’ and libraries’ doors, we are meeting the moment to stop book bans, and we’re glad to have the White House commit to joining that work.”