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Michigan Library’s Future Uncertain Over LGBTQ Materials

A small group of conservative residents campaigned against renewing the mileage because the library refused to remove all LGBTQ material

Michigan Library, LBTQPatmos Library in Jamestown Township outside of Grand Rapids will lose 84% of its $245,000 annual budget (Source: Pexels)

A West Michigan library faced an uncertain future Thursday after a failure LGBTQ material on its shelves led to the failed renewal of a millage property tax that funds the bulk of its budget.

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Patmos Library in Jamestown Township outside Grand Rapids will lose 84% of its $245,000 annual budget with the failure of mileage renewal in Tuesday’s primary election, said Library Board Chairman Larry Walton. The mileage failed with 1,905 votes to 1,142 votes for.

A small group of conservative residents campaigned against renewal because the library refused to remove all LGBTQ material, Walton said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “They’re protesting all the LGBTQ books that are on our shelves,” Walton said. They want him to ban the books, he said, “which is unacceptable”.

“We, the council, will not ban the books,” Walton said. Cody Newhouse, who voted against the mileage, told WOOD-TV that even though the books are placed in the adult section of the library, children can still access them. “It’s only the LGBTQ things that bother me, with my kids in particular,” Newhouse said. “If you’re older, make your own decision, that’s fine.

But with the younger ones, I just think it should be away from them. Walton said he doesn’t know when the mileage dollars will run out. He said the board needed to review its income and expenditures and consider its future moves, including finding new mileage in a future election. “I am optimistic that we will overcome the obstacle that the conservative group has thrown at us,” he said.

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First published on: 2022-08-05 at 11:11:14



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