Daddy's Roommate

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Date: 1993

Region: North America

Subject: Sexual/Gender Orientation

Medium: Literature


Artist: Michael Willhoite

Confronting Bodies: Mercer County Library

Dates of Action: 1993

Location: Lawrence, New Jersey

Description of Artwork: The book is about a young boy whose divorced father now lives with his gay partner.

The Incident:

  1. Lawrence resident Keith Smith complained to the Mercer County Library Commission and wrote to County Executive Rober Prunetti about the book. His complaints eventually prompted the library commission to move the book, along with Heather Has Two Mommies, by Leslea Newman, out of the children's section and into the parenting section. Smith is treasurer of the Lawrence Republican Club, but Prunetti said politics was not involved. "A lot of people are affiliated with Democrats or Republicans," he said. " What difference does it make?" Either way, the move angered librarians and many parents. In March, a library system review committee had recommended that the books remain in the children's section. That decision was reversed by the commission after Prunetti said he simply passed the missive on to the county counsel, who advised the commission to review Smith's complaint.

Results of Incident:

  1. The books remain in the parenting section of the library.

Source: Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association