CommunityPam's House Blend

Wingnut bill would ban gay news from Virginia libraries

VA Homo-bigots of the week Del. Samuel Nixon, Jr. and Sen. Mark Obenshain.

As I’ve said before, Virginia‘s giving Alabama a run for its money when it comes to intolerance and legislative wingnuttery. It’s got to be tough to be gay in either state, with all the Right wing proposals to restrict rights, and now information on library computers. (

Two bills that would require any public library that receives state funds to install filtering software on its computers could result in a ban on sites providing gay community news and information.

The lawmakers who have proposed the legislation say it is necessary to protect children from unwittingly stumbling across pornography while using the Internet at their local libraries.

The House bill’s sponsor, Del. Samuel Nixon, Jr. (R-Chesterfield) unveiled his bill at a press conference for the conservative Family Foundation. Nixon is also a backer of a state constitutional ban on same-sex civil unions. The Senate bill was filed by Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg). The bill would simply put Virginia in line with federal law, said Nixon, who filed a similar bill last session that was killed in committee.

A 2000 federal law mandated that public libraries put blocking technology on computers as a condition for receiving federal money. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 upheld the use of anti-pornography Internet filters in public libraries.

But, opponents of the legislation argue that it amounts to censorship, and relies on imperfect technology that can block legitimate sites on such topics as abortion or gay rights. Librarians would be able to temporarily disable filters for legitimate research purposes the two lawmakers said. The American Library Association has opposed the federal law.

Many of the available filters block news sites such as and rights groups such the Human Rights Campaign.

Ironically, Nixon is “one of the two most-knowledgeable people in the General Assembly when it comes to technology,” according to the Chesterfield GOP, and carried the legislation in last year’s session that created the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

Just so you know…

Del. Samuel Nixon, Jr.

PO Box 34908

Richmond VA 23234


804-745-4432 fax

Sen. Mark Obenshain

Senate of Virginia

P.O. Box 396

Richmond, VA 23218

Phone: (804) 698-7526

Fax: (804) 698-7651

Email:, or

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding