RIDGELAND, Mississippi (LifeSiteNews) – A Mississippi mayor is refusing to distribute $110,000 of taxpayer funding to libraries in his county over LGBT books targeting children that are sparking outrage among residents.
Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee told local news that multiple citizens have recently complained to his office about sexualized, pro-LGBT content in local libraries and said he’s demanding that libraries remove the books before receiving any additional public money.
“I have had many complaints from citizens about the display of certain books at the library. In my capacity as mayor, I simply believe the books are inappropriate for children,” the Jackson-area mayor said in a statement to WAPT. “There is a minimum, sexual connotations are not appropriate for children when they enter the library.”
According to Tonja Johnson, executive director of the Madison County Library System, titles that McGee objected to included books for young children designed to normalize disordered gender identities and sexual orientations.
“Funding for this year was being withheld until we removed what he called ‘homosexual material’ from the library,” Johnson told WAPT.
“His reasoning that he gave was that, as a Christian, he could not support that, and that he would not release funding until we remove the material,” she added. “He told me that the library can serve whoever we wanted, but that he only serves the great Lord above.”
The library system had displayed several pro-LGBT books in children’s sections last fall, prompting complaints from local residents, the Clarion Ledger reported. One book promoted in libraries with taxpayer funds encouraged children as early as preschool to use transgender pronouns.
Ridgeland has so far withheld two payments to the Madison County Library System, according to the outlet.
Johnson has said that the library board will seek a hearing with the Ridgeland Board of Aldermen, which initially approved the library funding.
Mayor McGee’s stand comes amid a national reckoning on pornographic, ideological LGBT books increasingly found in K-12 classrooms and libraries across the country.
In November, the Republican governors of Texas and South Carolina directed education officials to develop statewide standards to prevent pornography and obscene content in the states’ schools.
Sexual material in public schools also became a flashpoint in Virginia’s 2021 elections, where parental backlash against pro-LGBT content and numerous recent reports of sexual assaults by homosexual or “gender fluid” students helped propel Republicans to victory in all statewide races. The school district of Loudoun County, Virginia voted last week to remove from school libraries an LGBT book with depictions of sexual acts.
In Florida, a new bill would require school officials to proactively eliminate sexually graphic books from libraries and classrooms or risk felony charges, LifeSiteNews reported.