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ARL Opposes State Laws That Limit Civil Rights and Legal Protections for GLBTQ Individuals

image CC-BY-SA by Ted Eytan

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the ARL Diversity and Inclusion Committee stand firm in their commitment to social responsibility and equality, core values of the library and information science profession and of the 124 member institutions that the Association represents. Recent legislation in North Carolina (NC HB 2) and in Mississippi (MS HB 1523) dramatically limits equal rights and protections for those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and/or gender-nonconforming (GLBTQ) individuals. The potential impact of these and similar proposed bills is a threat to our patrons, to our employees, and to the core mission of our profession as we endeavor to create safe spaces for open dialogue and opportunities for intellectual, artistic, scientific, historical, and philosophical advancement that will improve our society and world. The Association joins the chorus of opposition to this legislation—higher education associations, equal rights organizations, those in K–12 education, college and university administrations, businesses, and many others—that opens the door to discriminatory practices toward historically marginalized populations. These laws stand to limit the civil and human rights of GLBTQ people in our communities and society and directly oppose the fundamental principles upon which libraries are founded.

The Association of Research Libraries has long been committed to principles of social justice and equality, and developing and honoring diversity in our staffing, collections, and services. We reaffirm our dedication to ending prejudice, inequality, and discrimination in our organizations and in society and to ensuring that our efforts to this end are sustained and effective. As a public good, libraries seek to create and enable an educated and informed citizenry. We therefore oppose any legislation or practice that creates undue hardship for GLBTQ populations and pledge our support to creating inclusive and welcoming environments for all.

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.