Courthouse News – “Texas corrections facilities did not violate the First Amendment by banning certain books that graphically describe rape, child abuse and race relations in the prison system, the 5th Circuit ruled. Prison Legal News, a nonprofit advocate of inmate rights, filed suit over five books banned by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), under a book-review policy that the parties agree is constitutional. TDCJ has approved about 80,000 of more than 92,000 books sent to its inmates, according to database records.”
The Washington Post – “From papyrus to vellum to paper to e-books, two principles of publishing have not changed over the centuries: 1. Churches can’t resist the temptation to condemn books. 2. Nothing boosts book sales like condemnation by a church. Who, after all, would have read Sister Margaret Farley’s “Just Love” if the Vatican hadn’t censured it this week? The Catholic Church delivered the nun’s treatise on Christian sexual ethics from the wilderness of obscurity into the promised land of fame. For any book publicist, such denunciation is an answer to a prayer. On Amazon’s Web site, “Just Love” immediately ascended from No. 142,982 to No. 16.”
Baltimore Sun – “Mary Hastler knew she was about to create a fuss, knew that, unfair as she might find it, people were going to label her the last thing a librarian wants to be called — censor. You don’t refuse to carry the most talked-about series of books in the country without anyone noticing. But as she read E.L. James’ erotic novel, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” on her iPad, Hastler couldn’t reconcile its words with the Harford County Public Library’s policy not to buy pornography. Hastler, the county’s library director, says she has no problem with your run-of-the-mill bodice-ripper. But she felt she was reading a step-by-step guide to bondage, and a poorly written one at that.”
NCAC – “In a joint letter sent today (link to PDF), the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (ACLUFL) to urge Brevard County Commissioners to reinstate the best-selling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey to the Brevard public library system.
The ACLUFL’s support adds a new salvo as national attention escalates, from coverage via the New York Times and the NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams.”
NYT – “Students using the computers at Camdenton High School here in central Missouri have been able to access the Web sites for Exodus International, as well as People Can Change, antigay organizations that counsel men and women on how to become heterosexual. But the students have not been able to access the Web sites of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or the Gay-Straight Alliance Network.”