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Book Contested at Brentwood Library, Again

Uncle Bobby's Wedding was again under fire, this time from Maplewood residents.

A Brentwood library book that was contested last month for its portrayal of a same-sex marriage, was again under fire at the library board meeting on Monday.

The book,  by a Brentwood resident who's daughter brought it home without his knowledge. That led to the resident, James Vandervoort, requesting that the book be pulled from the shelves. His request was denied.

Three visitors at the library board meeting on Monday again asked for the book to be pulled, and two came to support the book and the board's original decision to keep it in the library.

George Wu, a Maplewood resident, said he came as the "parent of a young daughter." He said he recently found out about Uncle Bobby's Wedding at the library.

"As a parent, as a Christain, I do consider homosexual marriage to be an affront, and something that’s unholy before God," Wu said.

He said the book indoctrinates the message at a young age.

"Like Muslims would object to the burning of the Koran, I object to homosexual marriages as well," he said.

Rev. Steve Cakouros, also from Maplewood, simply gave the board a position paper that opposed the book, and asked them to get back to him.

Cakouros' wife, Sally Cakouros, said the book is more appropriate for older children.

"The book starts out very charming, then you get halfway through and it introduces the subject of homosexual marriage," she said.

Brentwood resident Mike Horton said the Supreme Court has never upheld a book being pulled from a library.

"I support anybody’s right to bring up their concerns about a book," he said. "I don’t think anybody will ever be successful having a book pulled from a public library, certainly not on the topic we have."

Horton's wife, Jennifer Horton said it's her right, not anyone else's, to say what her 9-year-old son reads.

"I’m sure there’s many homosexuals that also live in Brentwood that are happy that the book is there, and it’s up to them if their child reads it or not," she said. "If you go through this library, there are several other books I’m sure you would not like. There are several books in this library I do not like."

She said when she was in fifth grade she upset her mother by continually checking out the book, Sybil.

"My mother did not want me to read it, so I was told (by the library) that was up to my mother," she said. "And that was a book on a public library shelf, so I would like to say thank you for everyone in giving a choice to check it out or not."

Library board president Sheila Lenkman said the board's position would not change.

"There are nine of us here," she said. "We come from different professions, both sexes, all of us are parents. We all still felt this book had a place in the library."

Sally Cakouros said they had contacted Missouri Senator John Lamping about legislation regarding the book.

Lenkman wished Cakouros luck.

Also in Patch:

  • Book on Gay Marriage Contested at Brentwood Library Board Meeting
Michelle Seymour November 21, 2012 at 03:07 PM
I'm saddened by the idea that there are people in my neighborhood that want to ban books. I'm glad the library isn't giving in. If you don't want your child to read a certain book don't let him check it out from the library.
Thomas Gibson November 21, 2012 at 03:50 PM
ah Michelle. There will always be narrow minded fools amongst us. Do not worry about it. There are more of us that support freedom to choose.
Michelle Seymour November 21, 2012 at 04:01 PM
True, thanks!
Mr. Completely November 21, 2012 at 04:48 PM
People like George Wu think its appropriate to tell others what they can or can't do; read, buy, own, eat, and its always funny till it's about them. Somebody tries to tell Mr. Wu what, where, when, how much and he's gonna come unglued and waive the Constitution or Bill of Rights around like he wrote them. Please......go work a day in a homeless shelter or something and get over yourself.
Thomas Gibson November 21, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Amen Bud!
MJ Stricklin November 21, 2012 at 05:41 PM
My position has been and will continue to be: if you don't like a book don't check it out. If you don't want you child to read something, then be a good parent and monitor the material. Since when is my job or the library's job to do your job as a parent. Too many people have been persecuted and killed by a very select few claiming to be Christian. Most of the Christians I know understand not everyone shares their beliefs and accept our differences of opinion and belief systems. Mr Wu, instead if framing your personal prejudice in a Christian cloak, why don't you come out and state your hatred as a personal belief and leave religion out if it.
Bill McKenzie December 02, 2012 at 11:34 PM
It is ignorant and simplistic to accuse Mr. Wu of hatred because of his opinions. There are many other explanations for opposition to homosexual marriage than the knee-jerk "hatred" charge. By accusing Mr. Wu in such an extreme way, MJ Stricklin is clearly much closer to expressing hatred than is Mr. Wu. What Mr. Wu, Mr. Vandervoort and others in Brentwood who espouse traditional values need to understand is that this is a very permissive/liberal community and their values will not be respected by the majority of Brentwood citizens. This pertains to the Public Library and the Public schools, where the students are allowed to do whatever they like while clueless teachers, administrators and parents smile and nod their heads. Don't expect public institutions in Brentwood to look out for the welfare of your children. They won't.
Michelle Seymour December 03, 2012 at 02:22 AM
It is not really the job of public institutions to decide what your child should be reading. You seem to have quite a bone to pick with the public schools in Brentwood. I'm not sure this is the forum for such a discussion.

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