They’ll want to hold off on ordering The Line of Beauty, then

Just in time for World AIDS Day, Alabama state legislator Gerald Allen has proposed a bill that would ban all books with gay characters from public libraries:

Allen said that if his bill passes, novels with gay protagonists and college textbooks that suggest homosexuality is natural would have to be removed from library shelves and destroyed.

“I guess we dig a big hole and dump them in and bury them,” he said. . . .

If the bill became law, public school textbooks could not present homosexuality as a genetic trait and public libraries couldn’t offer books with gay or bisexual characters.

When asked about Tennessee Williams’ southern classic “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof,” Allen said the play probably couldn’t be performed by university theater groups.

Allen said no state funds should be used to pay for materials that foster homosexuality. He said that would include nonfiction books that suggest homosexuality is acceptable and fiction novels with gay characters. While that would ban books like “Heather has Two Mommies,” it could also include classic and popular novels with gay characters such as “The Color Purple,” “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and “Brideshead Revisted.”

I’m with Bookslut’s Michael Schaub, who says:

I always feel a twitch of Southern defensiveness — I’m from Texas, my family’s from Louisiana — whenever people portray Southerners as ignorant racists and homophobes. That’s exactly why I despise ignorant homophobes like Gerald Allen.


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