Board members of a Chicago public library decided to keep an LGBT-themed children's book on its shelves. The book’s subject matter spurred some controversy among parents over the illustrations it contained of a gay Pride parade.
The book “This Day In June” depicts LGBT people celebrating at a gay Pride parade — and in all manner of ways from leather to drag. The six-to-one vote to keep the book on the shelves was decided Monday.
Of the approximately 150 community residents who appeared at the West Chicago Avenue branch of the city's public library to speak on the book's proposed reassignment to another genre within the library — perhaps from the children's to the parental section — most people conceded that the book should remain right where it always has been.
Community member Maria Dalianis expressed her resentment.
"You can’t address just one segment of the population. It’s a book about the gay Pride parade — it’s pretty darn innocuous," she said according to LGBT news source NewNowNext. “Whatever is in the library, it’s the parents’ responsibility to monitor their children and decide what’s right for them.”
The debate began when a woman named Michaela Jaros, along with her husband Kurt, discovered that their daughter of three had picked out “This Day In June” from the public library, found the book unsavory, and subsequently objected to the book in public. Mr. Jaros, an executive director of the company Defenders Media, used his Evangelical platform as a pulpit to deem the book vulgar, pronouncing it as altogether inappropriate for kids.
But the majority rule indicated a mass mindset that was ultimately progressive.
"This is not sexual in any way," Library Director Benjamin Weseloh said according to NNN. "In my opinion, that’s being read into it.”
Gayle E. Pitman and Kristyna Litten authored the book, which was published in 2014 by Magination Press, an imprint of the American Psychological Association.
On the Magination Press website, Pitman wrote about her motivation for writing the book:
"I wanted Pride to be featured as realistically as possible. I wanted to see drag queens, guys in leather, rainbows, political signs, the Dykes on Bikes--everything you would see at Pride.”