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Intellectual Freedom News

Burning the 'Leaves of Grass'

28 May 1992


Voters in Springfield approved the amendment to the city charter, sponsored by the Oregon Citizens Alliance, which prohibits the city from encouraging or promoting homosexuality. This editorial discusses the threat of the initiative to cultural diversity and the freedom of speech. Supporters of the initiative want to rid libraries of objectionable books that encourage homosexuality, which could include Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” a celebrated work of American poetry. However, library patrons already have the ability to challenge a book and bring their objections to a selection committee.


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