Rubio Warns Libraries are Violating First Amendment

Rubio Warns Libraries are Violating First Amendment

“As a recipient of federal funds, the ALA is prohibited from using taxpayer dollars to violate the First Amendment.

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
|
July 31, 2023

Over the weekend, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) sent a letter to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (MLS), where he questioned whether the MLS potentially violated the First Amendment.

The letter, directed to MLS Director Crosby Kemper, highlights that the American Library Association (ALA) has received millions of dollars in taxpayer funds, which includes for the purpose of promoting community engagement activities around libraries. Citing a June 2023 incident, Rubio argues that the ALA provided guidance on preventing library story hours that were held by Brave Books, a Christian children’s book publisher. In turn, Rubio states that the ALA promotes “Drag Queen Story Hours,” which he says expose minors to sexual topics.

Rubio, joined by North Dakota Senator John Cramer (R) and Indiana Senator Mike Braun (R), have penned a letter, calling on an investigation.

“As a recipient of federal funds, the ALA is prohibited from using taxpayer dollars to violate the First Amendment. However, it appears the ALA is ignoring this prohibition for the sole purpose of silencing Brave Books while simultaneously also advocating for ‘Drag Queen Story Hour,’” the lawmakers argue in the letter.

“While disagreements pertaining to ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ in public libraries will assuredly continue, Brave Books deserves the same opportunity to host and organize events in public libraries as other groups, including those that the ALA has taken an aggressive role promoting,” they continue.

The lawmakers suggest that “the political whims of the ALA” is dictating the events that are hosted in the libraries while reaffirming that “public libraries must remain open to the public.”

They go on to argue that an investigation is necessary because “the ALA is actively discriminating against Brave Books on account of their faith and is likely doing so with taxpayer funds.”

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina is an award-winning senior reporter based in Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching films.

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