Ban On Library Books Depicting ‘Homosexuality,’ ‘Lesbianism’ Passes Mississippi House

Too depressing…but not unexpected.

Mississippi could ban digital books that state law defines as “sexually oriented,” including books with depictions of “homosexuality” and “lesbianism,” from public and school libraries after a majority in the Mississippi House approved an amended version of Senate Bill No. 2346 on Wednesday.

When the Mississippi Senate passed the bill on Feb. 28, it was six pages long and focused on requiring websites where pornography makes up more than one-third of the content to implement an age-verification system. When the legislation reached the House, its Judiciary B Committee amended it, expanding it to also include bans on “obscene” and “sexually oriented” digital materials in libraries. It does not include physical books.

The bill prohibits public-school libraries for K-12 students and public libraries that serve adults and children alike from contracting with vendors for “digital or online resources” that violate the State’s pre-existing legal definition of “sexually oriented materials.”

 

 

The bill points to Mississippi Code Section 97-5-27, which says that “any material is sexually oriented if the material contains representations or descriptions, actual or simulated, of masturbation, sodomy, excretory functions, lewed exhibition of the genitals or female breasts, sadomasochistic abuse (for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification), homosexuality, lesbianism, beastiality, sexual intercourse, or physical contact with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or the breast or breasts of a female for the purpose of sexual stimulation, gratification or perversion.”

‘It’s Not Limited To Just Minors’

House Judiciary B Committee Chairman Rep. Nick Bain, R-Corinth, introduced the amended Senate Bill No. 2346 on the floor Wednesday. He told fellow lawmakers that the goal of the legislation is “to protect minors from sexually illicit materials.” After his explanation, though, Rep. Shanda Yates, I-Jackson, rose to question the bill’s contents.

“Will the gentleman yield?” she said.

“I’m reluctant to,” Bain said. “But I will.”

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Ban On Library Books Depicting ‘Homosexuality,’ ‘Lesbianism’ Passes Mississippi House