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Judge Tosses Librarian's Defamation Suit Against Anti-LGBTQ+ Group

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A Louisiana judge dismissed a lawsuit filed last month by a librarian over criticism she received for supporting the inclusion of LGBTQ-related books in a library.Amanda Jones, a middle school librarian and the president of the Louisiana Association of School Librarians, from Denham Springs, La., filed the lawsuit against two men, Michael Lunsford and Ryan Thames, after she claims they publicly attacked her opposing censorship and “book policing," The Hill reports.Although conservative group Citizens for a New Louisiana, ran by Lunsford according to the suit, published a series of online criticisms of Jones, the judge ruled that their statements were only opinions.

The judge indicated that the level the offending commentary would have to rise was very high because the plaintiff was somewhat of a public figure.On July 19, Jones spoke at the Livingston Parish Library Board of Control meeting after a board member requested that the board review inappropriate books.

According to Jones, censorship or relocation of books would harm the community, so she spoke out against them.“The citizens of our parish consist of taxpayers who are white, Black, brown, gay, straight, Christian, non-Christian — people from all backgrounds and walks of life, and no one portion of the community should dictate what the rest of the citizens have access to,” Jones said during the meeting, according to NBC News. “Just because you don’t want to read it or see it, it doesn’t give you the right to deny others or demand its relocation.”Citizens for a New Louisiana posted on its Facebook page the following day that “anti-censorship folks” opposed moving “sexually explicit and erotic materials targeting eight to ten-year-olds” to the adult section,.

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