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Chicago Group Claims Ex-Gay Books Being Banned

By Joseph Erbentraut in News on Oct 22, 2009 9:40PM

Photo by khakiaraki
Due to the actions of a Chicago-based group, many public libraries are reportedly finding themselves in a precarious position on the topic of reparative therapy - i.e. attempts to de-gay the gay.

Chicago's own Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX), a national non-profit organization, has launched itself into a battle against libraries' so-called "banning" of books on successes of the ex-gay movement. The group, who does not believe in a biological root of gayness, has informed FOX News that its donation of books such as "You Don't Have to Be Gay" and "A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality" have been uniformly rejected. Their requests for help from the American Library Association's intellectual freedom department have allegedly been ignored.

"It's almost an attack on us as an organization merely because we want to allow people to have all the information on both sides," PFOX excecutive director Regina Griggs told the beacon of balance. "We aren't out there forcing people to do anything ... [patrons] have a right to know all of the facts to determine for themselves."

Squabbles over gay books in public libraries, and the First Amendment quandary the controversies create, is far from uncommon. This summer, a neighbor to the north, the West Bend, Wis. public library, faced similar troubles when it refused to discard "gay-affirming" books like "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and obtain books celebrating ex-gay treatments. One resident suggested the library's director should be "tarred and feathered" for his refusal to relent to the demands.

Most mainstream medical and health groups, including the American Psychological Association, have criticized reparative/conversion therapy as unlikely to work in the long-term, at best, and potentially harmful, at worst.