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Over 200 people attend meeting about removing books containing LGBTQ+ topics from Glen Ridge public library

Over 200 people attend meeting about LGBTQ+ books at N.J. library
Over 200 people attend meeting about LGBTQ+ books at N.J. library 02:22

GLEN RIDGE, N.J. -- Dozens of people packed into an auditorium in Glen Ridge on Wednesday for a final meeting on whether to remove six books containing LGBTQ+ topics from the public library.

More than 200 people flocked to the Wednesday night meeting, nearly all of them vocally opposed to the idea of removing the books.

The debate started after a group of eight residents called Citizens Defending Education submitted concerns about sexual material. At least some of the complaints called for the removal of the books.

"They're not pornography at all," said Lori Jean Moody, who was there to voice her opposition to removing the books. "They're an age-appropriate, well-researched means for kids to understand themselves and their bodies."

The books in question are: "Here and Queer," "It's Not The Stork," "It's Perfectly Normal," "This Book is Gay," "You Know, Sex," and "All Boys Aren't Blue."

"I wish I had these books 40 years ago," one speaker said at the meeting.

No one from Citizens Defending Education attended the meeting, but co-founder Fran Deacon agreed to an interview with CBS2.

"A lot of the material is sexually explicit, pervasively vulgar," she said.

"What's your response to the people who might say this is not about safety of children, it's discrimination against LGBTQ issues?" CBS2's Tim McNicholas asked.

"I really didn't think about, honestly, whether that was LGBTQ-specific or not because to me, these are unsafe for anyone," Deacon said.

"I don't believe that that is true," New Jersey Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake said.

Timberlake plans on introducing legislation to make it illegal to ban books.

"I do not think that's what it is. I believe it's about hatred. I think it's about discrimination for them," she said.

"It's a lot better than eight people wanting to ban books, to have the whole community here to show support for this," Glen Ridge High School junior Julian Novoa said.

Citizens Defending Education's founder says she'd also be satisfied if the books were moved to an area where kids can't access them.

The library board voted Wednesday to keep all six books in the library without moving them.

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