Voters in a Western Michigan township last week chose to defund their public library after a campaign organized by a conservative community group argued that a display of books showcasing LGBTQ+ characters and stories was “grooming children for sexual exploitation.”
In an August 2 vote, residents of Jamestown Township, Mich. defeated a proposal to renew a property tax millage that funds most of Patmos Library’s yearly budget, putting it at risk of closing. Without the millage, the library is set to lose roughly 84 percent of its annual budget, Larry Walton, the library board’s president, told the Associated Press.
Walton said the vote is a result of a pressure campaign led by members of a conservative Christian group that has clashed with the library for the better part of a year. In May, Patmos Library Director Amber McLain resigned from her position, citing harassment from community members over the inclusion of LGBTQ+ children’s books.