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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 27: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a transgender support rally at Federal Building Plaza on April 27, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois.Scott Olson/Getty Images

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (LifeSiteNews) — While other states work to remove pornographic content from public schools and children’s library access, Illinois is moving in the opposite direction, with a new law that will penalize schools for not allowing children unfettered access to such material.

HB 2789 “adopt[s] the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights that indicates materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval or, in the alternative, develop a written statement declaring the inherent authority of the library or library system to” assemble a diverse collection of material and “prohibit the practice of banning specific books or resources.”

Any library or library system that fails to adopt the ALA bill of rights or adopt an equivalent policy against the removal of materials will be ineligible for state grants under the bill, which has cleared both chambers of the Illinois legislature and is expected to be signed into law by Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The ALA’s Library Bill of Rights declares that books and other materials in libraries “should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation” or “because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval” and that a “person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.”

A note at the bottom of the page acknowledges that “questions do arise concerning application of these principles to specific library practices.” The ALA’s statement on how these principles apply to minors’ access to materials indicates that the group, and by extension any facility that formally adopts its standards, does not allow for any age-based restrictions on access to certain content.

“Equitable access to all library resources and services should not be abridged based on chronological age, apparent maturity, educational level, literacy skills, legal status, or through restrictive scheduling and use policies,” the group says, and concerns about that access should be handled exclusively by how parents “advise” their own children. “Libraries and library governing bodies should not use rating systems to inhibit a minor’s access to materials.”

Across the nation, controversy has exploded in recent years over schools and libraries adopting books that attempt to expose sexual themes and activity to children, often in graphic detail and with pornographic imagery depicting specific sex acts. The conservative Young America’s Foundation notes that one such example can be found in Dixon, Illinois, where the public library had a book depicting sex acts between children.

The issue, along with the promotion of ideological messages in taxpayer-funded education, has in fueled a parent backlash that has been credited with Republican gains in states like Florida and Virginia, whose current respective governors have taken leading roles in fighting back.