The House State Affairs Committee advanced a bill on Thursday that would prohibit public libraries from distributing what legislators deem “obscene” materials to juveniles, Ruth Brown of Idaho Reports writes.
HB 314, introduced by Rep. Jaron Crane, R-Nampa, moved forward 11-2 on a party-line vote. The bill is Crane’s second attempt at a library materials bill, as a similar proposal, HB 139, died in the Education Committee last month.
The committee heard about 90 minutes of testimony from concerned community members and concerned librarians. One testifier even brought in copies of “Hustler” magazine to compare it to something he got at an Idaho library.
Libraries do not distribute “Hustler” or other pornographic magazines in Idaho.
The bill prohibits librarians from allowing any child to check out obscene materials that are “harmful to minors.” The term “harmful to minors” is defined as including “descriptions or representation, in whatever form, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sado-masochistic abuse.” The content may be harmful to minors when “applying contemporary community standards” and are “patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with respect to what is suitable material for minors.”
Read Brown's full story online here or find it in today's paper.