Delegate Tim Anderson (R-Virginia Beach) is seeking an injunction against Barnes & Noble because the retailer doesn’t limit access to books with mature content. On Wednesday, a judge found probable cause that Gender Queer: A Memoir and A Court of Mist and Fury are obscene as part of a lawsuit seeking to have the books removed from Virginia Beach Public Schools.
“The book [Gender Queer] may be appropriate for adults and might even be appropriate for some minors, but the lawsuit was to determine whether they were appropriate for minors to view unrestricted,” Anderson said in a video update Thursday.
In the lawsuit, Anderson is representing Tommy Altman, a candidate for the GOP nomination for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.
“The next step is to ask now for a restraining order against distribution of these materials to minors, so we asked for restraining orders against the schools and against Barnes and Noble,” Anderson said. “We specifically went after Barnes and Noble because both of the books were purchased at the local Barnes and Noble right here in Virginia Beach. So we got the books there and there’s no restrictions against purchasing these books.”
The Virginia Beach School Board has already decided to remove Gender Queer from its libraries. A school spokesperson didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Barnes & Noble said in a statement, “As booksellers, we carry thousands of books whose subject matter some may find offensive. We live in a diverse society, and that diversity of opinion is reflected in the books we carry on our shelves that cater to the wide range of interests of our customers. We ask that our customers respect our responsibility to offer this breadth of reading materials, and respect also that, while they chose not to purchase many of these themselves, they may be of interest to others.”
Anderson said, “We’re not trying to make the books illegal. We’re just saying that can’t be distributed to minors without parental consent.”
He said there’s more books in the Virginia Beach school system that he’s concerned about.
“We can file lawsuits all over Virginia. As parents you should be now considering, instead of going to school boards, going to courts,” he said.
This article originally appeared in The Virginia Star. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of The Republican Standard. Republished with permission.