Speaking Out Against Removal of Blasco Library Read With Pride Display at Erie County Council Meeting on July 11

On Tuesday, July 11, to raise awareness of the Blasco Memorial Library, approximately 25 people from Democratic Socialists of Erie and the Pennsylvania Equality Project attended the Erie County Council meeting. Ten attendees spoke during the open mic session and shared why Library Director Karen Pierce erred when ordering the moving of the Pride Month display or its ultimate dismantlement. Several speakers demanded that the County Executive, Brenton Davis, and Director Pierce issue public apologies to the LGBTQIA+ community. Others insisted that the Pride display be returned to the Children's section for an additional month as a sign that ongoing discrimination will not occur. Pennsylvania Equality Project President David Moore attended the Council meeting and said,

"People of all ages with varied sexual orientations and gender identities exist, including youth. They use the library. They attend local public schools. Families with two moms, two dads, and a wide variety of other arrangements exist right here in Erie County. They should not suffer discrimination or hate simply because a few complaints come to the attention of the library director or the County Executive."

Erie County Council Vice Chairwoman Mary Rennie addressed the council after the public speaker portion of the meeting had concluded. She said that she was once the library's director and that she found Director Pierce's actions to be "atrocious" but stopped short of calling for the return of the Pride display this year.

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