Michigan: Prosecutor to Librarian: Get Rid of LGBTQ+ Book or Face Felony Charges

A local prosecutor in Michigan is threatening to use a law aimed at catching predators during sex crime stings to target a public librarian if she does not remove an LGBTQ-themed book from the shelves. The librarian remains steadfast in her opposition to his demand.

Amy Churchill, the director of the Lapeer District Library in a small town in Michigan’s thumb, says she’s undeterred by local county prosecutor John Miller’s threat to charge her with a felony, Bridge Michigan, a local publication, reports.

Miller demands that she take the book Gender Queer: A Memoir off of the public library’s shelves.

He’s said the content is inappropriate for children, as many conservative-led counties and school districts nationwide have deemed the work. In particular, critics argue the artwork inside the book is too graphic for minors.

The prosecutor is using part of the criminal code often connected to sting operations where children fall prey to predatory adults. It’s a violation to entice anybody under 16 “to commit an immoral act, to submit to an act of sexual intercourse or an act of gross indecency or to any other act of depravity or delinquency,” according to the law.

The graphic novel by Maia Kobabe describes the coming-of-age of a nonbinary person and contains sexually explicit illustrations. Gender Queer was the most banned book in school libraries in 2022, according to PEN America, a group that advocates for writers, and the most challenged book, according to the American Library Association.