A Michigan town voted to defund its library because it had books with LGBTQ themes.
The vote came after some residents campaigned for months against the library.
Jamestown Township is a small but conservative stronghold in western Michigan.
A town in western Michigan voted this week to defund its library because it contained several books that featured LGBTQ themes.
According to election results reviewed by Insider, Jamestown Township voted by a 25-point margin — 62.5% to 37.5% — to reject a proposal on Tuesday that would support the local Patmos Library.
The proposal would have renewed and increased funding for the library's repairs and operations beginning in 2023.
Local news site Bridge Michigan reported that the vote will ax the library's $245,000 budget because a majority of funding comes through property taxes.
But Tuesday's vote took shape after a months-long coordinated effort by local residents to punish the library because it had books that featured LGBTQ themes, Bridge Michigan reported. But only about 90 of the library's 67,000 books have those themes, library officials told Bridge Michigan.
The culture war drama started earlier in 2022 when a parent raised concern over the book Gender Queer: A Memoir, the report said. This led to heated library board meetings and complaints about other books.
Local residents accused library officials of trying to "groom" children and of "indoctrinating" them, the report said, urging others to vote against supporting the library. The library's director and interim director both eventually resigned.
One resident created a GoFundMe on Wednesday to raise enough money to keep the library afloat, calling it "a core part of the community fabric."
The resident described the effort to "defund" the library as "well-coordinated and vocal" and said the "group built up anger due to the presence of some books about the LGBT+ community."
Patmos Library wasn't open on Thursday and couldn't be immediately reached for comment by Insider.
Tuesday's vote reflects a nationwide trend of targeting books with themes of race or sexual identity in conservative regions or by GOP politicians, as culture wars continue to boil over at the most local levels.
Jamestown Township is a small but conservative stronghold in the southeast corner of western Michigan's Ottawa County. Just over 3,000 people — a third of the town's population — voted in Tuesday's election.
In the 2020 presidential election, Ottawa County voted for Donald Trump over Joe Biden by a 20-point margin — 59.8% to 38.4%. Jamestown Township, however, voted for Trump over Biden by a 76 to 21 point margin.
"I wasn't expecting anything like this," library board president Larry Walton told Bridge Michigan. "The library is the center of the community. For individuals to be short sighted to close that down over opposing LGBTQ is very disappointing."
Read the original article on Insider