(NewsGlobal.com)- A circuit court in Virginia has decided that two novels that include graphic sexual content are “obscene.” As a result, the books will be removed from public school libraries in the state.
According to ABC 7 News, Judge Pamela Baskervill issued a ruling on Wednesday that found the books Gender Queer: A Memoir and A Court of Mist and Fury to be too “obscene for unrestricted access by children.” It is possible that public schools in Virginia could soon be required to remove graphic novels and other comparable materials from library shelves. The publishers of the books have three weeks to file an appeal against the verdict.
The Gender Queer book was judged “pervasively vulgar” by a working district committee, which resulted in the Virginia Beach School Board voting to remove it from library shelves before the decision was made. Maia Kobabe, who identifies as “nonbinary,” is the creator of the comic novel Gender Queer, which is centered on the author’s own sexual experiences.
The book describes Kobabe’s visit to a pornography production facility and has images of a man engaging in oral sex on a dildo that is attached to Kobabe with a harness. According to the findings of the Washington Free Beacon, A Court of Mist and Fury features a number of explicit sexual scenes.
In April, Republican state delegate Tim Anderson of Virginia submitted a petition to the court on behalf of Tommy Altman, a congressional candidate who is running against incumbent Elaine Luria. The petition requested that the books be removed from classrooms (D., Va.).
On Wednesday, Altman and Anderson submitted a supplemental application to the court in which they asked for the order to be extended to include all libraries and bookshops in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It will be illegal for public libraries and booksellers to lend or sell the books to children without the prior consent of their parents or guardians if the plaintiffs are successful in having the judge decide in their favor.
Some people believe that restricting access to books in school libraries violates the First Amendment. According to ABC 7, Anderson maintains that the court ruling does not outright ban the books but instead assists parents in limiting their children’s exposure to sexually explicit material.
This is not the first time that the topic of gender nonconformity has stirred controversy in Virginia schools. The book was removed from the libraries of the Fairfax County Public Schools in October, but the district’s decision was overturned in November. After determining that the book “runs contrary to what is proper in school,” the Loudoun County Public Schools deleted Gender Queer from its library collections.