Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Friske introduces measure to protect children in public libraries
RELEASE|March 2, 2023
Contact: Neil Friske

Rep. Neil Friske is working to keep Michigan children safe by restricting items deemed sexually explicit or obscene, and move them to an adults-only section of public libraries with newly introduced legislation.

“My office has received an outpouring of calls from constituents who are angered at the content found in the children’s sections of their local libraries,” said Friske, of Charlevoix. “This is a genuine concern for folks in my district, and my bill aims to keep children across the state safe.”

House Bill 4136 restricts items deemed sexually explicit or obscene, and would move them to an adults-only section of public libraries that would be inaccessible to anyone under the age of 18. Although some media outlets originally reported that there were no definitions provided in the bill, the bill acts as an amendment to the Library Privacy Act and uses the definitions of ‘Sexually Explicit Matter’ and ‘Obscene’ in MCLs 722.673 and 752.362, respectively, according to Friske.

“This bill does not ban libraries from having specific books or genres of books, nor does it discriminate against any individuals,” Friske said. “The bill simply places content containing things like pornographic images to an area of the library reserved specifically for adults. This is common sense legislation. It is crucial that the children of Michigan be protected everywhere they go – obscenity in front of minors is traumatic and should never be permitted.”

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