Long Island library board reverses ban on LGBTQ-related books, displays from children’s sections


SMITHTOWN, Long Island (WABC) — A library board on Long Island reversed a decision to ban all Pride-related books and displays from its children’s sections after it was hit with swift backlash.

The Smithtown Library Board held an emergency meeting Thursday night to address the new ban, resulting in a reversal with a 4-2 vote.

“Earlier this evening, the Board of Trustees from the Smithtown Library rescinded our earlier decision to remove Pride displays from our library’s children’s room,” the Smithtown Library Board of Trustees said in a statement. “The majority of the board recognizes that our earlier decision was made without the time, care, or due diligence that a decision of this type deserves and that it was the wrong decision.”

The board had originally voted 4-2 in support of the ban Tuesday.

It was quickly derided by LGBTQ activists and politicians.

Among them was New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who tweeted “Our public spaces should be accepting our young people — not rejecting them.”

Nassau County Legislator Arnold Drucker also condemned the vote.

“Earlier this year, when Florida was ramming destructive ‘Don’t Say Gay’ laws through its State Legislature, I lamented the fact that this coordinated, nationwide assault on the LGBTQ+ community could soon arrive on our doorstep,” Drucker said.

President and CEO of the New York LGBT Network Dr. David Kilmnick, called the ban an act of hate.

“The actions by the Smithtown library board was nothing more than hate. There is no reason and it doesn’t matter that it’s just pride month Pride Month is just adds insult to injury, that they banned these displays, but to remove what is a symbol of love what is a symbol of our different families? What is a symbol of pride, and what is a symbol that will save lives is really, really cruel,” Kilmnick said.

The NYC Pride March broadcast special, co-hosted by Angelica Ross along with WABC’s Ken Rosato, Lauren Glassberg and Sam Champion, will return for its sixth consecutive year on ABC 7 from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET on Sunday, June 26 as well on abc7NY.com, ABC News Live, and ABC7 New York’s Connected TV Apps on streaming platforms Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, and Roku.

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