Our Response to HB 139 and Censorship

No matter how you slice it, HB 139 is government sanctioned censorship, and is a blatant and irresponsible act by the Idaho Legislature to undermine the professionalism of libraries and schools. 

HB 139 is designed to eliminate access in schools and public libraries to any materials that mentions or alludes to any expression of sexuality including LGBTQIA+ in any format.  To enforce that code, the bill encourages individuals to sue the institution for each instance in the sum of $10,000.  This tactic uses fear and intimidation to force conformity around a single narrow point of view.  

Our world is made of many voices, experiences, and environments. The LGBTQIA+ population, their stories and history are not material to be censored.  It is a part of who we are, as are the people, stories, and history of Native Americans, immigrants, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and all the people of our world.   Schools and libraries need more inclusivity, not less,to prepare our children and our communities to understand and navigate the complex and overwhelming amounts of information in our world.  

The primary goal of our schools and libraries is to help children and adults have access to diverse materials and help them gain the skills to think deeply and analytically about the information they encounter. Schools and libraries give students a chance to develop and practice those navigational skills with the assistance of trained and thoughtful teachers and librarians.

HB139 does everything it can to sabotage this goal.

It is only by banding together to fight exclusive and horrific laws such as these that Idaho voters and citizens can make their voices heard and work to build an inclusive Idaho where everyone is heard, seen, and represented.