LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. — Tonight, after a heated discussion, Liberty Lake City Council voted to keep the book 'Gender Queer' in the city library.
The council passed the motion to keep the book by a vote of 4-2.
The LGBTQ graphic novel has become one of the most banned books in the country due to its graphic illustrations. Its author, Maya Kobabe, wrote it as a resource for people who identify as non-binary.
Councilmembers engaged in a tense discussion that centered around freedom of speech and censorship.
During the meeting, several members of the public voiced their concerns with the book.
"If you start banning books do you truly believe your children won't find what they want to know somewhere else? Banning books will not be the end to whatever crusade you are on," one resident said.
"Our public library should represent many different views but we should be able to establish some level of decency," another resident said.
Erin Zosada, the person who filed the complaint to have the book banned, was also present and spoke at the meeting.
"I don't believe in banning books, period. I don't believe in that at all. This is not a First Amendment issue. This is not an attack on an LGBTQ group, this is a fight against sexually explicit content directly aimed at minors," Zosada said.
Councilmember Jamie Baird made several statements on the matter in tonight's meeting, noting that parents should be held responsible for what their children are reading, not society or the government.
"It is not society's, or the government's job to raise your child, and it's definitely not the librarian's job to monitor what your child reads or what they check out," Baird said. "That job lies squarely on your shoulders, parents. If you don't want your child to read or check out 'Gender Queer,' walk with them to the library and monitor what they are doing. Or just trust your child to respect the boundaries you've laid out."