League City Council on Tuesday evening approved a policy prohibiting the city from spending tax dollars on children’s books that feature certain topics.
The measure will prevent tax dollars be spent on “the purchase, display, or stocking of books or other library materials” that features “obscenity or other harmful content,” such as “ideologue human sexuality” and “gender ideology,” as well as pedophilia, incest and rape.
“What we’re not trying to do here is to ban books,” said League City Mayor Nick Long. “We’re not trying to move books just because it has gay characters.”
During Tuesday’s council meeting, a majority of more than 60 speakers opposed passing the measure. Residents like Saultczy Bleu said certain books allow children to be exposed to a variety of cultures and ideas that they wouldn't otherwise experience.
“I can’t believe in this day and age, I’m having to come before you guys and say ‘Please don’t ban books,'” Bleu said.
Despite the opposition, the measure passed 4-3.
The policy would also allow residents to challenge the display or stocking of books that they deem obscene or harmful to children. A “community standards review committee,” created by League City Council, would then review that challenge and decide whether to restrict access to the book. If the challenge is denied, the resident would be able to appeal the decision.
The news comes as an increasing number of books continue to be banned from school districts and libraries throughout the country due to subject matter deemed inappropriate for students.
A recent report from PEN America found that Texas currently leads the country in the amount of banned books — with 801 bans throughout 22 districts in the state. Nationally, 2,532 individual books were banned from July 2021 to June 2022, according to the report.