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Campaign Against Explicit Children’s Books In Australian Libraries

by | Thu, Mar 16 2023

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Christian family advocate Bernard Gaynor is on a mission to remove inappropriate books from the children’s sections of Australia’s libraries.

He claims many library books on the children’s shelves, especially comic-style publications, are pornographic.

“I think parents should understand that local councils and probably even school libraries are stocking explicit books and lending them to children,” he told Vision Radio.

Mr. Gaynor has initially targeted libraries run by Logan City Council in Brisbane’s south. He says it has agreed to remove a book called Gender Queer from its library shelves, but is still making it available for children to borrow.

The campaigner believes that’s not good enough and has a petition on his personal website calling for the Council to remove the book permanently.

“What really shocked me was that Gender Queer was not the worst book in the library. There are numerous other books in Logan City Council libraries on children’s book shelves which are worse. They are absolutely depraved and disgusting. They’re basically in the same section as your Batman and Superman comic books. They’re that kind of comic style book, but they are very explicit,” Mr. Gaynor explained.

The father of nine and former soldier in military intelligence with three tours to Iraq explained to Vision Radio how he was mounting his campaign.

“You complain to the library staff, you complain to the local councillors, you go to the police. I’ve been to all three. And in Logan, all these books have now been removed from the shelves in the library, which is a good win. But most councils have refused to even speak to me,” he lamented.

“The good news is that the police have and these books have now been referred to the Australian Classification Board, which is the first step to determining whether charges should be laid in relation to these books and their contents.”

“It is illegal to import pornography into Australia unless it is first classified as being suitable to import into this country. These books have never been sent to the Classification Board, so there is a whole process here of processes which have not been followed and not been adhered to. If we were to draw explicit pictures of children and hand them out, we would go to jail. But apparently our local councils think they can put them in a book, hand them out and actually keep a record of all the children who borrow this stuff.”

I think there is a loophole in the law. Computer games and movies must be classified but there’s a grey area about publications. It would appear that there was a duty of care on Logan City Council and the publishers who brought these books out to Australia to seek classification, which they did not do.”

“The Classification Board has classified some of these books in the past, these comic style books, and refused classification to them essentially because they contain child pornography, in particular these Japanese style comic books, which depict young children very graphically. Now they are being imported into Australia from Japan without properly being assessed. These are the ones that are in local libraries.”

“In my research I’ve found online book suppliers selling books that had been refused classification on Australian websites for Australian customers. The government was collecting GST on their sale. That has since stopped just in the last week or so since I raised it with these booksellers.”

Mr. Gaynor believes the lack of vigilance from the Australian public has allowed more and more explicit books into libraries as well as activities like Drag Queen Story Hour.

He propounded to Vision Radio: “I fully believe that if more parents were speaking up about these books three or four years ago, no one would have dared to bring a drag queen into a library to start reading books to kids. But because these books have been on the shelves in Australia for a number of years and no one said anything, it creates this permissive environment where they keep pushing boundaries and we need to start fighting back.”

“Hopefully, when this campaign is done and dusted in Logan, we can start looking at other libraries in Australia. That is definitely the plan. But to do that, people need to start poking councillors in the chest and saying ‘I don’t care what sort of pornography it is, it shouldn’t be in a taxpayer funded or resident funded library.'”