Biden to Announce New Book Ban Czar at White House Pride Event

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Joe Biden is set to reveal a series of LGBTQ+ initiatives, including appointing a new Education Department Office of Civil Rights official to be a point person on “book bans.” Biden announced the administration’s actions during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday. The White House had planned to host what White House Domestic Policy Adviser Neera Tanden referred to as “the largest Pride celebration in White House history” on the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday, but postponed to Saturday due to air quality concerns caused by wildfires in Canada.

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According to Tanden, the Education Department’s book ban coordinator will “train” schools, telling them that prohibiting certain books may infringe upon federal civil rights laws. Tanden went on to emphasize the claimed negative consequences of book banning, arguing that it undermines democracy, obstructs student learning, and contributes to alleged stigma and isolation.

On a call previewing the announcement, an administration official said:

Across the country, our nation is facing a spike in book bans, and these efforts disproportionately target the LGBTQI+ community as well as communities of color. These aren’t just attacks on the rights of LGBTQI+ Americans, they are part and parcel of a coordinated attack on our democracy.

The administration is also anticipated to unveil a new Department of Homeland Security-led partnership with the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services. Expected initiatives include:

  • The Department of Homeland Security-led community safety program  in conjunction with LGBTQ+ community centers, clinics, and small businesses like restaurants and bars. This program allegedly aims to provide training in handling bomb threats, active shooters, and cyber threats.
  • Health and Human Services issuing an advisory to mental health care providers, supposedly offering guidance on providing evidence-based care for transgender youth.
  • The implementation of regulations aimed at protecting LGBTQ+ children in foster care, ensuring their placement in supposedly safe and appropriate homes, and addressing homelessness among LBGTQ+ youth.
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Last month, the American Library Association (ALA) identified seven out of the top 13 most challenged books in 2022 (with four books tied for 10th place) as having LGBTQ+ content that was sexually explicit. The book that received the highest demand for removal from libraries was Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe. Gender Queer has sparked significant controversy among parents demanding its removal from public school libraries. The book includes depictions and descriptions of oral sex as well as content surrounding masturbation.

Florida, under Governor Ron DeSantis, implemented laws to regulate the controversial sexual content of books in school libraries. A similar bill was sent to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s desk last month. The law, if enacted, rates books, and those that are rated “sexually explicit” are banned due to sexual depictions and imagery, although state officials can override the rejection.

Image shows child with colored rainbow hair in a library reading a book. Shirt says Best Day Ever. Book Bans containing LGBT+ and other sexual material are controversial.

Under the Parental Rights in Education Law signed by DeSantis, classroom instruction on “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” is currently prohibited in all grades of K-12 education. DeSantis, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, has dismissed recent allegations of book banning in Florida as a “hoax” propagated by the “mainstream media, unions, and leftist activists.”

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According to the governor’s office, out of the 175 books removed from schools across the state based on legislation passed in 2022, 164 were taken out of media centers. Furthermore, 87 percent of the removed books were identified as either pornographic, violent, or inappropriate for their respective grade levels.

Governor DeSantis emphasized the importance of exposing the alleged “book ban” hoax, arguing that some individuals are attempting to exploit schools for the purpose of indoctrination. He stated in March that Florida is committed to providing students with a quality education that is free from sexualization, asserting that inappropriate content contradicts the state’s education standards.

Gov. DeSantis said:

In Florida, pornographic and inappropriate materials that have been snuck into our classrooms and libraries to sexualize our students violate our state education standards. Florida is the education state, and that means providing students with a quality education free from sexualization and harmful materials that are not age-appropriate.

Related:

NEW: Antifa Member Identified as Part of Brawl Outside Glendale, CA School Board Released on Bail

‘Embarrassing’: Air Force Twitter Account Sparks Outrage After Going Way Too Far in Honor of ‘Pride Month’

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