- A small Michigan town has voted to defund its library because it has LGBTQ-themed books.
- The vote comes after some residents opposed the library for months.
- The town of Jamestown is a small, conservative stronghold in western Michigan.
A small town in western Michigan voted this week to defund its library because it contains several LGBTQ-themed books.
according to election result After an Insider review, the town of Jamestown voted Tuesday by a 25-point margin (62.5% to 37.5%) to reject a proposal to support the local Patmos library.
This proposal Renewal and increased funding for library maintenance and operations will begin in 2023.
local news site michigan bridge report The vote would cut the library’s budget by $245,000 because most of its funding comes from property taxes.
But Tuesday’s vote came after a months-long coordinated effort by local residents to punish the library for its LGBTQ-themed books, Michigan Bridge reported. But library officials told Michigan Bridge that only about 90 of the library’s 67,000 books have those topics.
The culture war drama begins in early 2022 when a parent expresses concerns about the book Gender Queer: A Memoir, the report said. This led to heated library board meetings and complaints about other books.
Local residents accused library officials of trying to “raise” children and “indoctrinate” them, and urged others to vote against supporting the library, the report said. Both the librarian and the interim director eventually resigned.
A resident created a GoFundMe Enough money was raised on Wednesday to keep the library afloat, calling it “a central part of the community fabric.”
The resident described the library’s “defunding” efforts as “well-coordinated and outspoken” and said “the group has fueled outrage due to the existence of some books about the LGBT+ community.”
The Patmos library was not open Thursday, and insiders could not immediately reach the library for comment.
Tuesday’s vote reflected national trends Racial or gender identity-themed books by conservative districts or Republican politicians are targeted as the culture wars continue to boil over at the most local level.
The town of Jamestown is a small, conservative stronghold in the southeastern corner of Ottawa County in western Michigan.Just over 3,000 people – a third of them urban population — to vote in Tuesday’s election.
“I didn’t expect something like this to happen,” library board chairman Larry Walton told Michigan Bridge. “Libraries are the heart of the community. For the short-sighted, it’s very disappointing to have libraries closed because they’re anti-LGBTQ.”