Calls for LGBTQ book ban in Rio Rancho seemingly backfire

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RIO RANCHO, N.M. – A Monday night meeting seemingly backfired on those calling for LGBTQ books to be banned in the main Rio Rancho Public Library. That’s because most of the people who signed up for public comment were against banning books. 

Signs in hand, many people showed up to the Rio Rancho Public Library Monday night with a clear message: no book bans.

“The books they may not want their children to read, I might want my children to read. So they can certainly control it at home, but they shouldn’t restrict these books, and make choices for everybody about what books people should read or not read,” said Willie Orr, an Indivisible Albuquerque member. 

While there was nothing on the city library board’s agenda dealing with book bans, the large turnout Monday night was because of a tweet posted by the Conservative group, New Mexico Mass Resistance.

It called for followers to show up at the meeting to “defend the heterosexual nuclear family.” But, the tweet ended up having the opposite effect.

“We the people will continue to show up every time to make sure that we continue to have the freedom to read what we want to read, it’s important,” said one speaker.

As KOB 4 reported the first time, we saw this debate play out during a Rio Rancho city council meeting in April. The city has a formal process to request the removal of books from public libraries. 

People can simply fill out a “request for reconsideration” form to have the book reviewed and possibly removed. But to this very day:

“We have not had a single one of those requests in this calendar year. We have not seen a single one,” said Jason Shoup, a Rio Rancho director of Library and Information Services. 

Earlier this year, the City of Rio Rancho passed a resolution saying it stands by any decision the library makes regarding what’s in its collection.