​Mayor who promotes city’s 'progressive leadership' blocks taxpayer funds over library’s 'homosexual materials'

​Mayor who promotes city’s 'progressive leadership' blocks taxpayer funds over library’s 'homosexual materials'
Image via Screengrab.

Last March, Ridgeland, Mississippi Mayor Gene McGee spent time reading books to students at a local elementary school in celebration of Dr. Seuss’ Read Across America Week.


In September Mayor McGee signed a proclamation promoting Constitution Week, celebrating the 234th anniversary of the drafting of the U.S. Constitution.


Mayor McGee, who says his city of Ridgeland “attracts new businesses and new residents because of its vibrant businesses, progressive leadership, excellent schools and welcoming neighborhoods,” this week is refusing to release $110,000 in already appropriated funds to the local library because it has “homosexual materials” that he claims violate his Christian beliefs.

McGee “told me that the library can serve whoever we wanted, but that he only serves the great Lord above,” Tonja Johnson, executive director for the Madison County Library System told the Mississippi Free Press.

The counsel for the library board, Bob Sanders, was asked at a Tuesday meeting of the Ridgeland Library’s board if the mayor has legal authority to block the funds.

“Uh, no.” Sanders responded.

Mississippi Free Press reporter Nick Judin adds that “the mayor’s action may well violate basic constitutional rights, based on earlier court cases on the subject of LGBTQ book bans, including Sund v. City of Wichita Falls.

On Twitter, Judin adds more details:

Judin also offers this plea: “if you are sharing this story to make a point about Mississippi, I encourage you to remember that Mississippi is not just Gene McGee. Mississippi is also Tonja Johnson and the library board who voted unanimously to ignore his demands.”

No word yet on if the funds will be released.

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}