Friday, May 20, 2005

King & King controversy


When a grouchy queen tells her layabout son that it's time for him to marry, he sighs, "Very well, Mother.... I must say, though, I've never cared much for princesses." His young page winks. Several unsatisfactory bachelorettes visit the castle before "Princess Madeleine and her brother, Prince Lee" appear in the doorway. The hero is smitten at once. "What a wonderful prince!" he and Prince Lee both exclaim, as a shower of tiny Valentine hearts flutters between them. First-time co-authors and artists de Hann and Nijland matter-of-factly conclude with the royal wedding of "King and King," the page boy's blushing romance with the leftover princess and the assurance that "everyone lives happily ever after."

Here's what's going on. The state is threatening to cut the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Library System's funding if children's books about homosexuality aren't reshelved separate from the other children's books. This all started with King and King.
Libraries as a rule are very anti-censorship and pro-freedom to choose to read whatever you want without the state interfering. I also have very strong feelings about this issue. It is not the state's or the librarian's responsibility to screen what children read. That responsibility falls of the parents/guardians of those children. If the parents don't want the children reading it, they shouldn't let them. If they do let the children read it, maybe they should read it together and discuss what they thought, how it made them feel, etc.
I know from a religious stand point that homosexuality is wrong; I also know that judgment is just as wrong. God gave people free will for a reason. Contrary to popular belief, I am not God, so I don't know that reason, but I know that people DO have free will to make their own choices, and in doing so have to live with the consequences of the choices that they make.
Whether the state of Oklahoma likes it or not, there are people out there who are in homosexual relationships and have children. It can be hard to explain to a child that their family is different from their friend's, and these books are there to help. These books don't need their own special "homo" section.