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The Joy of Gay Sex?

One day this past February, Paul perused the “New” bookshelf at the Lewis & Clark Public Library in Helena, Montana, and he saw The Joy of Gay Sex. Taking a glance at its contents led to a formal request to remove the book from the library and public hearings over, “Does such a book belong in the public library?”

Paul’s Letter to the Editor in the Independent Record and the Queen City News tells more about how this process began.

The director of the library, Judy Hart, agreed to hear comments on this book from Paul Cohen and other community members at the board meeting on August 25th, 2008. Here is our Handout of Points Paul took to the meeting.

After the meeting, I wrote a summary of the points covered by all speakers. Here is that Summary with Paul’s Notes and Answers interspersed throughout the commentary.

Tonight, September 16th, 2008, a second public hearing was held at the Large Meeting Room at the library. There were eighteen speakers for keeping the book, and ten against (two of those asking for it to be put in an adult section).

Here is a Summary of the Public Hearing with Paul’s Commentary.

Comments can be submitted in writing to the library board through October 3rd. One page of written comment is allowed.

We have had further debate on this matter. Here you can read various Letters to the Editor of the Helena Independent Record with all comments, with some correspondence as well:

Objects to ‘Joy of Gay Sex’ (Paul Cohen – 8/17/08)

Double Standard? (Will MacBride – 8/24/08)

Remove the Book (Mark Colton – 8/25/08)

Book Doesn’t Belong in Library (Sierra Chambers – 9/18/08)

Libraries Are No Place for Censorship (IR Staff – 9/18/08)

Don’t Print Derogatory ‘Opinions’ (Robert Bayuk – 9/21/08)

     Our Correspondence with Robert Bayuk

Libraries Aren’t for Agendas (Lisa Marshall – 9/21/08)

We have had more correspondence with Robert Bayuk. And we also have a few more postings in the IR article – Libraries Are No Place for Censorship.

9-26-08 Addition: Paul and Victor had correspondence with one of the authors of The Joy of Gay Sex, Felice Picano. You can read this correspondence HERE.

Click HERE to read the conclusion to this matter.

(September 16 through 26, 2008)

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