Three Iowa children left a club after it removed pro-LGBTQ messages, a network in New York debuted an anti-LGBT crime hotline, and a library in Alabama flagged a book because the author's last name is Gay.
Kids Quit Club Over Pro-LGBT Message Removal
According to KCCI, a local news station out of Des Moines, three Iowa children left their 4-H club after a group leader removed a rainbow from their painted message on a window that was meant to promote inclusivity. 4-H is a national youth development program.
Siblings 10-year-old Frannie Burns and 12-year-old Elwood Burns were members of their local 4-H club. Elwood Burns painted The Chronicle’s windows, a local newspaper, during a project where the club members were encouraged to paint the storefronts of neighborhood establishments promoting the club in celebration of National 4-H Week.
His message read, “'Have you heard the news? 4-H is 4 everyone” with a rainbow painted underneath. He stated that he wanted to portray that the club was welcoming to the LGBT community.
The next day, their mother drove by the newspaper and the rainbow was gone. She was told the club received complaints and thus removed the rainbow. The Chronicle indicated that they had no concerns about the design and did not ask for its removal.
In response, the Burns siblings quit the club, with a third member quitting in solidarity.
Network Debuts Anti-LGBT Crime Hotline
Photo via lgbtnetwork.org.
The New York LGBT Network announced a new hotline on Oct. 10 to report homophobic hate crimes, according to 1010 WINS Radio. They announced that it was set to launch on Oct. 11, which is National Coming Out Day. The number for the hotline is 888-LGBT-HLP.
"Some people might not be aware of what constitutes a hate crime, how to report it, or what support is available to them," said David Kilmnick, president of the New York LGBT Network.
He continued, stating that lack of trust in police may also lead to underreporting of anti-LGBT hate crimes.
"They may think that hate crimes are inevitable and that reporting them would not make a difference," he said.
Library Flags Kid's Book; Author's Last Name Is Gay
Author Marie-Louise Gay. Photo via marielouisegay.com.
According to the Alabama Political Reporter, an Alabama public library added a children’s book to a list of potentially sexually explicit books because the author’s last name is Gay.
“Read Me a Story, Stella,” by Marie-Louise Gay, is a picture book about a girl named Stella who introduces her younger brother to the benefits of reading.
The branch manager for the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library system told Alyx Kim-Yohn, the circulation manager, that the children’s books on the list were ordered by HMCPL executive director Cindy Hewitt to be moved immediately into the adult nonfiction section. Young Adult Fiction books were instructed to be evaluated individually.