Alabama Lawmaker Proposes Gay Book Ban

If you're a fan of Alice Walker, now might be a good time to check out one her books from the library. One Alabama lawmaker has proposed a bill that may yank "The Color Purple," and many other classic works, from public bookshelves.

District 62 Representative, Gerald Allen, says he wants to ban books that, "...sanction, recognize, foster, or promote a lifestyle or actions prohibited by the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws of the state."  Allen says it falls right in line with the proposed ban on gay marriage. "A society cannot sustain itself through activities such as this," says Allen, "and for us to promote it with public dollars just doesn't make sense."  For many, the proposed law itself doesn't make sense.

Mark Potok, spokesperson for the Southern Poverty Law Center, says, "Let's strip out half the classics of Western Civilization out of our libraries because otherwise our children are going to be kidnapped and converted to gay sex.  It's the most ridiculous set of ideas ever strung together in a row."

Jaunita Owes is the director of Montgomery's City County Public Library. She feels that pulling books off the shelf due to unfavorable content adds up to one thing... censorship. "I don't think it's the role of the state of Alabama to, in essence, dictate to me as a parent what I can and cannot read, and that's what we're moving towards when we do this.

Now even if this law passes on the state level, Gerald Allen and his supporters still have challenges ahead.  As of today, there's still no plan on how to enforce the law.  Allen hasn't concluded who would compile an ongoing list of banned books, nor has he determined whether exceptions should be made for some writers over others.  However, Allen does feel supporters of the Marriage Protection Act will agree with him.  Many others say they will challenge Allen every step of the way. This bill is expected go before the legislature this session. So far, a date has not been set.