Due to the presence of books containing LGBTQ themes, a Michigan community decided to stop funding its library. The vote was held following a lengthy opposition campaign by some locals. A tiny but staunchly Republican bastion in western Michigan is Jamestown Township. This week, a municipality in western Michigan decided to stop funding its library because it included a number of titles with LGBTQ themes.
A plan that would have supported the neighborhood Patmos Library was rejected by Jamestown Township on Tuesday by a margin of 25 points, 62.5 percent to 37.5 percent, according to election results examined by Insider.
Beginning in 2023, the proposal would have renewed and enhanced funding for the library’s maintenance and operations.
According to the local news source Bridge Michigan reported , the library’s $245,000 budget will be eliminated because a large portion of its income comes from property taxes.
However, Tuesday’s decision came about as a result of a months-long orchestrated campaign by locals to penalize the library for stocking books with LGBTQ themes, according to Bridge Michigan. However, according to library administrators, just around 90 of the 67,000 volumes in the collection have those topics.
According to the newspaper, the culture war drama began earlier in 2022 after a parent expressed worry about the book Gender Queer: A Memoir. Complaints about other books and tense library board sessions resulted from this.
According to the report, locals urged others to vote against establishing the library, claiming that library staff were attempting to “groom” and “indoctrinate” children. In the end, the director of the library and the acting director both left.
On Wednesday, a resident started an GoFundMe to gather money to save the library, referring to it as “a key part of the community fabric.”
The homeowner said the organization “built up anger owing to the existence of some books about the LGBT community” and that the attempt to “defund” the library was “well-coordinated and vociferous.”
On Thursday, Patmos Library was closed, so Insider was unable to quickly contact them for comment.
As cultural battles continue to flare up at the most local levels, Tuesday’s decision echoes a nationwide pattern of conservative areas or GOP lawmakers pursuing novels with themes of race or sexual identity.
In the southeast part of Ottawa County in western Michigan, there lies a small but staunchly conservative community called Jamestown Township. A little over 3,000 persons, or around one-third of the town’s population , cast ballots on election day.
Ottawa County voted for Donald Trump defeated Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election by a 20-point margin, 59.8 percent to 38.4 percent. However, Jamestown Township preferred voted for Trump to Biden by a score of 76 to 21.
Larry Walton, president of the library board, said to Bridge Michigan, “I wasn’t expecting anything like this. “The community’s hub is the library. It’s disheartening that someone would be so narrow-minded as to shut something down because they disagree with LGBTQ.”