A Catholic organization is encouraging its members to steal LGBTQ books from libraries as part of its “Hide the Pride” campaign.
A teen librarian who goes by Alex on social media shared a picture of the Pride Month display that they created, but with all the books missing.
Related: A Catholic journalist exploded in rage over gay penguins at the zoo
“My middle grade Pride Month display was stolen tonight and this threatening letter was left by the thief,” they wrote. “I’m so upset.”
“To protect our children and the community, we have checked out the books in the the pride display,” the form letter said. “We plan to keep these books checked out until the library agrees to remove inappropriate content from the shelves.”
The letter states that “flags, signs, and book displays” are all inappropriate in their opinion and say that people under the age of 18 can’t be LGBTQ because LGBTQ identities are “based on how adults experience sexual attraction and gender identity.”
“As parents, we should be able to bring out children to the public library without exposing them to displays of adult pride,” the letter says, even though the Pride display was not “adult” in any sense of the term.
The form letter had a place where the person taking all the books could leave their contact information, but the person who did so to Alex’s display left those parts blank so that no one can discuss their actions with them.
The ACLU’s Gillian Branstetter recognized the letter and pointed out that it’s the same form letter that CatholicVote made as part of its “Hide the Pride” campaign.
“After collecting signatures on a letter to the library board,” the CatholicVote website says, “members of the public will go to the library, find the ‘Pride Month’ display full of LGBTQ books targeted at kids, and simply check out all those books at the front desk.”
“CatholicVote recommends participants take a friend or two along so multiple library cards can be used.”
“Having emptied the children’s ‘Pride’ display, parents can go home and ‘place the Pride books on a shelf out of reach of children,'” CatholicVote says.
It’s not clear how the people who check out the books will do when libraries don’t capitulate to their demands and fine them for the books that they are refusing to return.
See below, courtesy of CatholicVote pic.twitter.com/gQfdmq6Yrr
— Gillian Branstetter (@GBBranstetter) June 17, 2022
Earlier this month, conservative candidate for the Frederick County, Maryland Board of Education Heather Fletcher checked out all the books in the Pride display of a public library near her to protect children’s “innocence.”
“This has nothing to do with the gay community,” she said at the time. “It has to do with the preservation of innocence.”
The library simply refilled the Pride display with books.