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Australians are divided after a Western Sydney council banned books about same-sex parenting from its libraries


Australians are divided after a Western Sydney council banned books about same-sex parenting from its libraries.

Cumberland City Council, which includes a population of about 240,000 people living near Parramatta, voted in May to «take immediate action to remove books/materials in the library service for same-sex parents».

The proposal narrowly passed by six votes to five.

During the debate, former mayor and current councilor Steve Christou held up a picture of a book titled Same-Sex Parents by author Holly Duhig, which he claimed had sparked complaints from his constituents.

The cover of the book features a gay couple and their young son.

‘One parent texted me to say, «Please take this crap off our shelves» with a screenshot of the book, Cr Christou said.

“This is not Marrickville or Newtown.

“We are talking about a demographic where 62 percent of the population was originally born abroad.

«They have very deeply rooted conservative family and religious values, regardless of their religion, whether it’s Christian, Catholic, Orthodox, Islamic, (or) Hindu.»

Cr Christou said the community was sick and tired of left-wing woke initiatives.

Former Cumberland mayor and current councilor Steve Christou promoted the ban in a book as a way to protect children from being «sexualised» (pictured)

What do residents think about the book ban?

Muslim woman Naz, 30, is in favor of pulling the book because it could be too «overwhelming» for young children.

«It’s hard to address these topics because it’s very sensitive for everyone,» she said.

“Kids should be exposed to everything early, but they need to be protected to first develop the skills to understand these things.

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“The content around it is changing so quickly that ten years ago most of us didn’t know there were more than two genders.

«As a Muslim and mother-to-be, I understand why young mothers want to protect their children from this – especially how it works with our Islamic beliefs and culture.»

While Naz believed that education should be accessible to children, she believes that timing is key.

She said the concepts of gender and sexuality can be difficult for children to understand.

“It can be difficult for a child raised in this environment to understand what a boy or a girl is.

«Then they’re faced with choosing their gender, then they have to decide who they’re attracted to,» she said.

“I can accept and understand the concept myself, but it would be very difficult for a six-year-old.

Craig, who lives in Regents Park, told Daily Mail Australia the council «shouldn’t be involved» in deciding what parents allow their children to read.

“There are different kinds of people; families can think what they want,” he said.

Cumberland resident Naz (pictured) said while it was important for children to be

Cumberland resident Naz (pictured) said while it was important for children to be «exposed to everything», they «need to be protected to develop the skills to understand».

Former mayor and current councilor Steve Christou (pictured) told Daily Mail Australia he was against

Former mayor and current councilor Steve Christou (pictured) told Daily Mail Australia he was against «any form of sexualisation of our children, whether it’s straight or gay».

Local Cumberland resident Adriana, 32, said the electorate has a high concentration of Muslim believers who often have «really strong» views on the LGBTQ+ community.

«I haven’t seen the book and I don’t know its contents, but I don’t think it’s fair if the council just decided to withdraw it,» she said.

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“If there was really strong negative feedback, I understand that, but it’s not fair.

Shashank, 28, agreed, saying, “It is not right for the board to decide.

“Children should learn about these things, so banning the book is not a good idea.

«Parents have the first right to make decisions for their children.»

Adriana (pictured) said Cumberland has a high concentration of Muslim believers who often have

Adriana (pictured) said Cumberland has a high concentration of Muslim believers who often have «really strong» views on the LGBTQ+ community

Shashank (pictured) believed it was

Shashank (pictured) believed it was «not right for councils to decide» what content parents allow their children to read

Belma, 61, said if parents are concerned about their children being exposed to sexuality, the community library should be the least of their worries.

«You hear young kids talking about sex, but that’s not the book’s fault, that’s the internet,» she said.

“You can’t just remove the books, you have to remove the phones.

“I am a Muslim and there would be some Muslims who would be very upset by the book.

“But children need to learn about these relationships. It’s not right for them to learn when they’re already dating.’

Another Cumberland resident, Angel, 26, said that while there were «several religions» in the area, «everyone should be entitled to their own opinion.»

Belma (pictured) believes the book may have sparked debate in Cumberland, which she says was

Belma (pictured) believes the book may have sparked debate in Cumberland, which she says was «open» but is now more conservative.



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