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In what some may label as clear discrimination, actor-writer-producer Kirk Cameron has been rejected by scores of public libraries for a story hour in an attempt to reach multitudes of American children with his new book "As You Grow," a book that celebrates family, faith and biblical wisdom.
Fox News has reported that Cameron's publisher, Brave Books, has reached out to more than 50 public libraries throughout the country to schedule a story hour that will allow children to learn about the above-stated values, but that not one of the libraries has answered with a "yes."
Ironically, Fox News reports, many of the same libraries that have denied Cameron a slot to teach from his book are "actively offering 'drag queen' story hours or similar programs for kids and young people," according to Cameron's book publisher and a review of the libraries' websites and current program listings.
One such library, the Rochambeau Public Library in Providence, Rhode Island, told Cameron and his publisher by phone, "No, we will pass on having you run a program in our space. ... We are a very queer-friendly library. Our messaging does not align."
When the publisher asked a library official about filling out a proper application form for a story-hour slot, Fox News reported that the individual replied, "You can fill out the form to reserve a space, to run the program in our space, but we won't run your program."
On its website, the Rochambeau Public Library lists a program called "Queer Umbrella," which serves young people and is described as "An ACN-accredited club and safe space where teens can learn, discuss and connect over queer history, art, community resources and more! Open to all members of the LGBTQ community who are 12+."
Fox News reported that Brave Books also contacted the City Heights Weingart Branch Library in San Diego, California, and a library representative told the publisher, "I don't think that's something we would do. ... Because of how diverse our community is, I don't know how many people you would get."
Yet the San Diego library celebrated Trans Awareness Week in November to "help raise the visibility of transgender, non-binary and gender-fluid people and address issues members of the community face."
The library's website says it actively hosts a number of LGBTQIA events that go beyond Pride Month, including "An Evening with Kyle Lukoff" during Trans Awareness Week that promoted Lukoff's book, "If You're a Kid Like Gavin: The True Story of a Young Trans Activist" and Drag Queen Story Hour featuring Vancie Vega.
The website says that their drag queen story hour is "a family-friendly way of recognizing and celebrating our diversity and individuality through age-appropriate stories and songs."
In its book recommendations section, for LGBTQIA History Month, it promotes books such as "Bad Gays: A Homosexual History," Billy Jean King's "All In," "Gay Bar" and "The Queer Bible" which the library describes as "a collection of essays written by today's queer heroes, featuring contributions from Elton John, Tan France, Gus Kenworthy and others."
Cameron's book publisher also reached out to the Alameda County Library System in California by phone and email, and were told by a children's library representative, "You know, I'm really sorry, but we are not interested."
Shawn A. Akers is the online editor for Charisma Media.
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