North Dakota Republicans consider banning books from public libraries that discuss sexual or gender identity

GOP lawmakers in North Dakota are considering legislation that would ban books from public libraries that contain “sexually explicit” content, including depictions of sexual or gender identity, NBC News reports.

The legislation, which has not been voted on yet, proposes up to 30 days imprisonment for librarians who refuse to remove the books. Supporters of the bill said it’s designed to prevent children from being exposed to pornography.

But opponents say the material in question is not considered legally obscene and that the definition of pornography is subjective

“Nearly 50 years ago, the (U.S.) Supreme Court set the high constitutional bar that defines obscenity,” said Cody Schuler, an advocacy manager at the American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota.

The bill also points to 10 other things that library books cannot visually depict, including “sexual intercourse,” “sexual preference” and “sexual perversion.” The legislation does not apply to books that have “serious artistic significance” or “materials used in science courses,” among other exceptions.

Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library Director Christine Kujawa said the library has a book depicting two little male hamsters who get married, according to NBC.

“It’s a cute book,” Kujawa said, adding that the book would be considered obscene under the bill.

Facing criminal charges for keeping books on shelves is “something I never thought I would have to consider during my career as a librarian,” Kujawa said.

Read the full report over at NBC News.