Following the abrupt cancellation of her Leander Public Library event in July, Lumberjanes writer Lilah Sturges has support from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) in the form of an anti-trans discrimination campaign.
The CBLDF, along with the National Coalition Against Censorship, will be meeting with the Leander, Texas City Council to discuss proposed changes to Public Library Programming Policy. The talk is part of an effort to reinstate Sturges' canceled discussion with the Graphic Novel Book Club.
In a joint statement, the CBLDF and NCAC wrote, "We call on the council to reaffirm their commitment to free expression and inclusion by adopting library policies which will prohibit discriminatory actions from happening again in the future."
The campaign is the result of a temporary policy change by the Leander Public Library after an LGBTQ-led event caught the attention of anti-LGBTQ protestors and national media. Sturges' event was canceled last minute. She was later told a background check hadn't been submitted.
Another partner in the effort, Kids’ Right to Read Project (KRRP), penned the following letter to the city council:
Since adopting a temporary event policy, Sturges is the only guest speaker to be denied access to the library. Several youth events have been held in meeting rooms without city official review, including a Mad Science children’s event during the week Sturges was scheduled to speak. Guest speakers unaffiliated with the library, like REPCO Wildlife, have since been allowed access to library spaces and young patrons without background checks or prior city approval. This capricious application of expanded restrictions strongly suggests a bias against Sturges’ gender identity and a gross violation of First Amendment principles.
The organizations have a call-to-action for local citizens to email council members along with tweeting the city's official Twitter using the hashtags #JusticeForLilah and #UncensoredPride. The effort has been the backing of #JusticeForLilah originator Leander councilwoman Christine Sederquist.