Equality Australia – Grandmother and Equality Australia welcome reversal of Cumberland Council book ban


This article was originally published by Equality Australia. You can find the original article here.

15 May, 2024 – National LGBTIQ+ group Equality Australia and local grandmother Caroline Staples have welcomed the reversal of a ban by Cumberland Council on books featuring same-sex parents. 

The council voted on Wednesday night to reverse the ban 12 votes to 2.

“Council has listened to local voices and united around the core value of ensuring all families feel welcome and that every child is given the chance to learn, grow and flourish,” said Ms Staples, who has lived in the Cumberland area for 40 years and is a mother of four adult children as well as a proud grandmother to a rainbow family. 

Ms Staples addressed council shortly before the vote and presented two petitions signed by a total of 51,960 people including 2,247 from the local area. 

“I have been overwhelmed by the volume and diversity of support for reversing the ban and I would like to thank every single person who signed the petition to ensure the children of rainbow families are seen and feel safe,” Ms Staples said. 

Equality Australia Legal Director Ghassan Kassisieh:  

“It’s wonderful to know this beautiful little book will be back on the shelves after Cumberland councillors listened to the many and varied voices from within their community telling them that modern Australia doesn’t accept book banning or the erasure of some families. 

“We don’t want to see imported American-style culture wars causing harm and sowing division in our diverse communities.  

“We should not need a riot squad to keep a local council meeting safe. This is not who we are. There must be a place for all of us here.” 

Ashley Scott, Executive Officer of Rainbow Families: 

“This vote sends the clear and powerful message that rainbow families are welcome and that every family matters,” he said. 

“Our job as parents is to help children understand the world around them and reading plays a pivotal role in this, as does seeing their families reflected in the books on their library shelves.  

“All children should grow up knowing that love is what makes a family and that every family matters.”  

Australian Library and Information Association ALIA CEO Cathie Warburton:  

“Public libraries are for the whole community. As the outpouring of support has shown, the general Australian public strongly supports people’s freedom to choose what to read. 

“We thank the councillors who have acted swiftly today to ensure that the library can continue to serve its community with a representative and rich collection curated by expert library staff.”  

Media contact:  Tara Ravens 0408 898 154, [email protected]   

This article was originally published by Equality Australia. You can find the original article here.

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