(Headline USA) Patmos Library in Mich. Jamestown Township may face closure next year after voters rejected a millage renewal on Tuesday in protest of some graphic LGTBQ content in the library’s collection.
Voters defeated the millage by 62% to 37% or 763 votes.
Bridge Michigan reported that 84% of the library’s $245,000 operating budget was derived from local property taxes, which would have cost each household about $24 annually.
At issue are a few LGBTQ books in the Patmos Library, including a graphic novel titled “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe, a writer using the “eir” pronoun.
The book discusses the author’s gender fluidity and sexuality, and several panels feature graphic illustrations of sexual activity.
Some parents objected and created a Facebook page to garner opposition to the library millage vote.
A group calling itself The Jamestown Conservatives formed “to help others of the community to be aware of the pushed agenda of explicit sexual content that is being infiltrated into our local libraries aiming toward our children,” according to its Facebook page.
After seeing the millage results, Jamestown resident Jesse Dillman started a Gofundme account for the Patmos Library in 2023 that has raised more than $22,000 of its $245,000 goal as of Saturday.
Dillman said Patmos library is a “core part” of their community. He, his wife, and his kids visit the library weekly to rent books and puzzles and attend free events such as dancing classes.
The library offers more than 67,000 books.
Dillman blamed small voter turnout and a coordinated movement via Facebook to swing the “no” vote. However, he maintains that most of the 10,000 residents support the library.
“I firmly believe the residents here in Jamestown want to fund the library,” Dillman told The Center Square in a phone interview.
“It’s been a small vocal movement of people that are very upset about this, in my mind, perceived issue of [LGBTQ content].”
Patmos Library Board President Larry Walton did not respond to an email from The Center Square seeking comment.
Adapted from reporting by the Center Square