Florida Attempts To Justify Book Bans, Stating Libraries Are For “Government Speech”

And not for “free speech.”

A legal brief filed this summer by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has surfaced to reveal the DeSantis administration‘s stance on book bans. Moody argued that anti-LGBTQ+ book bans are constitutional because “public-school systems, including their libraries, convey the government’s message, and, when the government speaks, it may ‘regulate the content of … its own message.’” Moody continued that libraries are a reflection of the government, not “a forum for free speech.”

If that isn’t absurd enough, Moody compared banning LGBTQ+ books to the banning of Nazi propaganda, stating if schools are allowed to ban Nazi propaganda due to “value-based judgments,” then they should be allowed to do the same for LGBTQ+ content. Yikes.

The brief followed federal lawsuits against two Florida school boards that were not allowing students to read And Tango Makes Three, a true story about two male penguins who raised a chick together. (Apparently the story of two male penguins raising a chick is too vulgar.) The author of the book claimed that the school board was violating First Amendment rights.

And Tango Makes Three is just the tip of the iceberg. Florida Republicans have been adamantly attempting to limit all access to LGBTQ+ content for children, making false claims that educators are attempting to “groom children” or force them to become LGBTQ+.

During the fourth Republican debate last night, DeSantis proudly discussed his anti-LGBTQ+ policies, specifically citing a trans bathroom ban. Additionally, DeSantis equated gender-affirming care for trans kids to mutilation, stating parents “do not have the right to abuse” their kids by allowing them to receive gender-affirming healthcare.

Meanwhile, according to PinkNews, “The American Medical Association, American Association of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association and more leading medical groups declared gender-affirming healthcare as safe, effective and medically necessary for trans youth. Many have urged politicians to stay out of the debate.”

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