A conservative legal firm is demanding a library reconsider canceling a family-friendly, book-reading event featuring actor Kirk Cameron and activist Riley Gaines.
First Liberty Institute attorney Jeremy Dys, who represents Cameron and his publisher Brave Books, fired off a letter Thursday to the Madison Public Library in Huntsville, Alabama, urging the institution to reverse the cancellation.
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Cameron and Gaines were scheduled to read their children’s books at the Madison Public Library as part of Brave Books’ “See You at the Library Day,” a national effort at hundreds of libraries across the U.S. to read and share family-friendly content.
“Upon learning that Mr. Cameron and his friend and Brave Books author, Riley Gaines, will be attending in person, you abruptly canceled the event citing ‘security concerns’ from a potential protest of Mr. Cameron and claiming the event exceeds the library’s capacity,” Dys wrote in his letter.
The lawyer stated any refusal to overturn the cancellation will be seen as “unlawful and unconstitutional religious viewpoint and content discrimination in violation of the Alabama Constitution and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
As for Cameron, he told CBN’s Faithwire Friday morning why he’s not backing down from the fight.
“These libraries should really be grateful that so many parents and children are excited to visit them tomorrow,” he said. “With e-books and other online reading options, sit-down libraries are becoming irrelevant and obsolete to the younger generation.”
Cameron said libraries should capitalize on this family-friendly movement and embrace it. And he wasn’t done there, expressing his belief biases are at play.
“Too much fear and woke-ness has made the ALA and these librarians go mad,” he said. “They are cutting off their nose to spite their face.”
The Huntsville Madison County Public Library system put out a Thursday statement noting the event, hosted by Moms for Liberty, was simply too big to be accommodated by its facilities.
“Initially, the organizers of the event reported 20 attendees to library officials,” the statement read. “On Tuesday the library learned that event organizers are now expecting over 300 people, a number that far exceeds any meeting room capacity within the Huntsville-Madison County Library System.”
Experts were reportedly consulted to “make the event logistically possible,” with police and fire officials being consulted.
“After discussing the logistics of the event with both the library and the event organizer, the Madison City Police Department and the Madison City Fire Marshal have recommended that the event be held at an alternate location,” the statement continued.
The library notified impacted parties Wednesday about the cancellation, three days before the stated event.
But Dys is seeking a reversal and is asking the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library to respond to his letter by Friday at noon.
He said his clients are willing to pursue the issue in court, pending the cancellation stays.
“Should you refuse, we are prepared to vindicate this violation of our client’s civil rights in court,” Dys wrote.
The cancellation comes as Cameron has accused the ALA of bias. A June 8 virtual ALA meeting purportedly offered up ways libraries could block Cameron and others like him from holding these events.
The resulting debate has led Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) to call for an investigation into the ALA and potential “misuse of taxpayer dollars to silence Brave Books,” according to First Liberty.
“See You At the Library” is a nationwide event set to unfold all over America Saturday, with Cameron and Brave Books stating it’s an effort to “promote free speech in our libraries and schools.”
Find out more about the effort here.
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