CV NEWS FEED // Two California parents who participated in CatholicVote’s Hide the Pride movement are speaking out after their private records were shared with members of the media, who portrayed them unfairly for their efforts to remove pornographic children’s books from a local library.
When a “pride” display popped up at their local library branch, Rancho Penasquitos Library in San Diego, Amy Vance and Martha Martin knew that they had to act. The display exhibited books such as “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” which contains explicit images, and other books marketed towards children that push the LGBT agenda.
“I don’t think that kids should have to learn things like LGBT issues and sex from public library books,” said Vance in an interview with CatholicVote.
Vance checked out six books, and Martin, who was unavailable for comment, checked out eight. Then, both used the CatholicVote Hide the Pride template to send an email to Rancho Penasquitos Library Manager Adrianne Peterson and San Diego City Library Director Misty Jones and express their concern via multiple email correspondences.
Library officials did not wish to comment further on the matter.
Days after her last email correspondence with Jones, Vance received a call on her private cell phone from a reporter with the Union-Tribune, San Diego’s daily paper. The reporter, David Garrick, said that he had received the email correspondence between Vance and the library and a list of the books she checked out. He asked if she would like to tell her side of the story.
Vance asked how Garrick received the private email correspondence between her and the library administrators and the record of books she checked out.
“They had to go into my library card to access the books I checked out,” said Vance.
According to the American Library Association, 48 states, including California, have laws stating that a library user’s records are private unless the user gives his or her consent to share the record or at the request of a court.
San Diego’s county library website says that it follows the American Library Association’s guidelines.
Vance is researching whether she has a basis for a lawsuit against the library for violating its policy and her rights as a patron.
“I have had a couple of lawyers helping me research the law, and the American Library Association has a whole set of protocols that libraries are supposed to follow,” said Vance. “Beyond that, I am looking into whether my Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the library.”
The day the Union-Tribune published its article, Vance called Garrick back and said that some of the information about her was false. Garrick simply responded that he gave her the opportunity to tell her side of the story.
“He told me that he didn’t really look at the story; he just put what the library emailed him in the paper after I didn’t want to comment,” said Vance.
Next, other media outlets began requesting comments from Vance concerning the incident. A New York Times reporter knocked on Vance’s front door without advance warning, asking for an interview.
“I am so glad I didn’t talk to the New York Times reporter because I would have been unfairly trashed by her,” said Vance.
The reporter published a story about the dispute at the Rancho Penasquitos library. She also interviewed CatholicVote President Brian Burch about CatholicVote’s involvement. Burch says that CatholicVote and Catholics like Vance received an unfair portrayal in the piece.
“Not surprisingly, the left-wing media is carrying water for gay rights extremists that want to exploit the innocence of kids. It’s mind-boggling that conscientious mothers of children seeking to shield kids from vile pornography in a public library are painted as the problem,” said Burch.
Since the publication of the Union-Tribune story and the New York Times piece, Vance has received multiple death threats and nasty emails questioning her judgment. But she does not regret her actions and looks forward to participating in Hide the Pride again next year.
“I don’t regret doing it at all, and I would do it again,” said Vance. “I will be participating again next year, and if they ever try any other crazy stunts like a drag queen story hour, I would be right out there protesting that also.”