US: School board votes not to ban ‘Two Boys Kissing’ book

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A Virginia school board has voted unanimously against banning a gay-themed young adult novel, after a lengthy public hearing.

Fauquier High School has earlier this month been urged by a parent to ban Two Boys Kissing, a young-adult novel by David Levithan.

The book covers several LGBT themes, including coming out, gender identity, gay hookup sites and teenage relationships.

Levithan’s previous book Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist was adapted as a film starring Michael Cera, and won a GLAAD award for its portrayal of gay characters.

On Wednesday, at a public meeting attended by over 50 people, the school board found unanimously in favour of keeping the book.

According to Fauquier News, committee member Reverend Joie Clee Weiher said: “This book is not about sex. Heated scenes of kissing are merely a hook, a draw for young people to read a book about relationships, respect and the deeper concerns of the human situation.”

A number of parents spoke at the hearing, both in favour of banning the book and against, but Jessica Wilson, who initially called for the ban, opted not to speak.

Local resident John Green, had argued: “Most High School students are under the age of 18.

“According to the Virginia Code, they are juveniles.

“The Virginia Code also defines obscene as material that as a whole appeals to an apparent interest in sex and excites lust.

“This book, I believe, meets that definition and is being made available to juveniles, which I believe to be inappropriate.”

Levithan sent a letter in defence of the book to the hearing.

He wrote on his Facebook page: “I just want to thank all of the people who’ve rallied to TWO BOYS KISSING’s defence in the censorship challenge in Fauquier County. Good luck tonight – I am very much with you in spirit.”