The state of Texas is reportedly cutting ties with the American Library Association after the group elected a self-described "Marxist lesbian" as president.
Republican Texas State Rep. Brian Harrison announced on Aug. 17 the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) will not renew its contracts with the American Library Association (ALA) after Harrison called on TSLAC to cut ties with the ALA over the election of President Emily Drabinski.
In a letter sent to TSLAC Commissioner Martha Wong in July, Harrison urged the state organization to "do the right thing for hardworking Texas parents and taxpayers" following Drabinski's election.
"I have been made aware that the American Library Association (ALA) has elected Emily Drabinski, a self-proclaimed 'Marxist lesbian' and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, as President," Harrison wrote. "Texas should be leading the fight against Marxist ideology, not subsidizing it."
Drabinski was elected 2023-2024 president-elect in April 2022.
Harrison's description of Drabinski was in reference to a now-deleted social media post in which Drabinski wrote, "I just cannot believe that Marxist lesbian who believes that collective power to build and can be wielded for a better world is the president-elect of @ALALibrary. I am so excited for what we will do together. Solidarity!"
She also referred to herself as a Marxist in a 2022 interview, in which she said, "I never thought in a million years they'd give a Marxist a chance." In another interview last July with Red Fault, the blog of the Austin chapter of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Drabinski acknowledged she was a "member of DSA in name and contribution" but "not active in the movement."
In a 2021 video on "teaching the radical catalog," Drabinksi spoke at length about her explicit sexual preferences.
"I could be straight. I could be a lesbian. I could be queer. 'Gay woman' and 'homosexual' were already outdated terms that we sometimes used to make fun of ourselves, but we certainly didn't use to describe and define ourselves," she said.
"And I had access to about three sexuality options: you could be a top, or a bottom, or a switch. I don't even know if those terms are in use anymore. But when I started at Sarah Lawrence in 2003, everything had changed. There were so many other ways to be gay."
In his letter to the commission, Harrison also cited ALA's history of fighting to keep materials deemed by parents as pornographic on school library shelves.
"The ALA's 'Office for Intellectual Freedom' states that libraries can't remove inappropriate books because 'children and teens have the right to find the information they choose' and 'no one has the right to make rules restricting what other people use, or to make decisions for other families,'" he wrote.
"This means the ALA may be undermining Texas statutes designed to protect children."
Billed as a nonpartisan, nonprofit membership organization that has existed since 1876, ALA is the world's oldest and largest library association. The organization promotes libraries and library education internationally, with over 49,727 members as of 2021.
In July, actor and Christian book author Kirk Cameron called for a federal investigation into ALA over his claims the association advised libraries to find ways to block or sabotage his upcoming nationwide event in August.