How many GLBT teenagers have to die before the hate driven by supersition and ignorance is stopped? That's a question parents across the nation are asking in the wake of Tyler Clementi's suicide last week. Walmart's history here is checkered. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Not really. From QSaltLake:
A children’s book written by the wife of anti-gay Standard of Liberty president Stephen Graham is being carried by over 100 Walmart stores. Chased by an Elephant, the Gospel Truth about Today’s Stampeding Sexuality by Janice Barrett Graham was written to “help shed the clear light of truth on today’s dark and tangled ideas about male and female, proper gender roles, the law of chastity, and the God-given sexual appetite,” according to Janice Graham in the book’s introduction. “The number of our young people involved in sexual sins has greatly increased in recent years. Some of the most stalwart-seeming youth find themselves involved in pornography, fornication, promiscuity, homosexuality, and the like,” Janice continued. The Grahams claim that their son, Andrew, successfully changed his sexual orientation and is now a happily married man.
Yes, this is only 100 stores out of Walmart's more than 4,300 in the United States alone, but there are only 52 Walmart locations in the whole of Utah. Still, I don't think Walmart should be forced to pull the books from even those 100 stores. That would be censorship and coming off of Banned Book Week, I'm not willing to go there. The response to objectionable speech, or books in a free society must never be censorship, instead, the proper response must be more speech. What form that might take in this case -- I imagine that educating Mormons on the subject will be difficult, but not impossible -- I don't know, but creativity is needed. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

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