Artist: Authors Leslea Newman and Michael Willhoite
Confronting Bodies: Janie Hill, founder and director of the God is Love Evangelistic Ministry
Date of Action: February 1999
Specific Location: Wichita Falls, TX
Description of Artwork: The children's books by Newman and Willhoite tell the story of homosexual parents.
Description of Incident: Janie Hill and other church advocates protested the presence of these two children's books in the city library. She claimed that the books "promote homosexuality in violation of God's will and state law." As a result, the city council voted on the notion of creating a restricted-access area for controversial children's books. City council member Dan Shine was among four members who voted to reject the bill. Hill called upon Wichita Falls voters to replace the city council member for his stance on the book's controversy at the public library in the upcoming election. She believed that they must replace Shine with a morally strong Christian man.
Results of Incident: As an alternative to a restricted children's section, the council passed a resolution that allowed people to file petitions challenging individual books. If the petitions have at least 300 signatures of library cardholders, the books would have to be moved from the children's section to an adult area of the library. This decision sparked anger and protest among free speech advocates. In fall 1999, the ACLU filed suit against the city council's resolution, which resulted in returning Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy's Roommate back to the children's section. In fall 2000, a federal court established that library books may not be moved or removed from the library by a petition of 300 signatures, as the city council had legislated.
Source: NCAC, Times Record News, Wichita Falls, TX 1999
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