Firing of Colorado librarian who objected to cancellation of programs for youth of color, LGBTQ teens was illegal, state concludes by Elizabeth Hernandez

The Denver Post

An investigation by the Colorado Civil Rights Division concluded that a Weld County library district violated state anti-discrimination laws when it fired a librarian in 2021 after she objected to the cancelation of programs she had planned for youth of color and LGBTQ teens.

The division issued determination letters Wednesday to the High Plains Library District, finding it violated state prohibitions on discriminatory firing and retaliation, as well as to three employees, whom the division said violated the law barring the aiding and abetting of discrimination.

The finding is significant as it’s among the first in the country by a state government that concluded censorship targeted at LGBTQ youth or youth of color is a violation of anti-discrimination laws, said Iris Halpern, the attorney representing fired librarian Brooky Parks.

Representatives of the High Plains Library District did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon.

The determination by the civil rights division paves the way for a mediation process that could end in the library district meeting the state’s requests or trigger further legal action.

“This whole entire crisis around censorship has been manufactured by a small minority of radical individuals who really are hiding discrimination and retaliatory processes behind the rhetoric of something that may sound more palatable to society,” Halpern said. “We’ve seen this over and over, and I hope we all come together and realize all of us are important to American society and deserve to be heard and participate fully in our public sphere, equally.”

Read the full article @ The Denver Post

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