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In an unbelievable move, Alabama Rep. Gerald Allen, a Republican, introduced a bill that would prohibit the use of public funds for "the purchase of textbooks or library materials that recognize or promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle.” With total disregard of The First Amendment of our Bill of Rights, one can clearly see the Falwellian nature of his actions.
One has to assume that Allen didn’t get elected because he’s ignorant and bigoted, yet his own words raise that possibility. Allen said that if his bill passes, novels with gay protagonists and college textbooks that suggest homosexuality is natural would have to be removed from library shelves and destroyed. "I guess we dig a big hole and dump them in and bury them," he said.
Now why would Allen single out one group and show enthusiasm in a book burying? Is that leadership? Perhaps it’s grandstanding, and not leadership. It’s clear that Allen wishes only to make a name for himself and draw on the conservative Christian movement as his vehicle. He might as well have chosen to introduce a bill burning and burying all the bibles. After all, the only purpose of the bill is to further divide this great country.
Ken Baker, a board member of Equality Alabama, a gay rights organization, said Allen was "attempting to become the George Wallace of homosexuality. Mark Potuk, a spokesman for the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center called the bill censorship. "It sounds like Nazi book burning to me," he said.
As the principles this great country were built upon continue to disappear, so will the rights and freedoms that they provided. The principle of separation of state and church has all but disappeared. What will self-serving politicians take from us next? Maybe they’ll want to ban books on black history, or restrict your use of the Internet. Are we going to allow that? Of course not!
It doesn’t make sense to not be involved in the politics these days. The future of America hinges on your participation. Whether that is only a letter, an email, or an article in an ezine, you must speak out.
As an elected official, I’m sure Rep Gerald Allen would love to hear your comments about his new bill. Here is his contact information. Interestingly enough, he doesn’t provide an email address.
Gerald Allen (Rep.) District 62
State House: Room 531
11 S. Union Street
Post Office Box 71001
Montgomery, AL 36130
Tuscaloosa, AL 35407
State House (334) 242-7758
Work Phone (205) 556-5310
Ryan Kelly is a writer and owner/editor of NoSidesMag , an ezine that envisions the elimination of a divided America. His current project is an anthology entitled Q&A New Voices . Currently available for reading online as it progresses, it will be published in hard copy upon completion.