Anti-LGBTQ Christian Nationalist Leader Joins Arkansas State Library Board

Former state Sen. Jason Rapert has officially joined the Arkansas state library board after most senate Republicans supported his nomination. “Rapert’s appointment to the seven-member library board comes during a conservative-led push to keep children from obtaining or even seeing certain books, especially those with LGBTQ+ topics,” the Arkansas Advocate noted. Rapert’s term runs through October 2029.

Rapert, who was nominated last month by Gov. Sarah Sanders, has called for funding cuts to libraries that oppose a new state law imposing criminal penalties on librarians who allow minors access to “harmful” material. That law is currently being challenged in the courts.

When Rapert was nominated last month, Right Wing Watch reported that he has an intensely anti-LGBTQ record; he celebrated passage of anti-trans legislation this year with a video in which he declared, “We are fighting against the people that are putting the queer books into your school libraries and trying to groom these children into homosexuality.”

Rapert, who made an unsuccessful run to be the state’s lieutenant governor last year, is the founder of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers, which promotes lawmakers and legislation that reflect Rapert’s “biblical worldview.” U.S. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson gave a keynote address at the group’s gathering earlier this month, bookended by anti-LGBTQ speakers.

GOP support for Rapert was not unanimous. “President Eisenhower warned us about extremists,” said state Sen. Bryan King, who added that having “attention grabbers” serving on boards can be “disruptive.”

People For the American Way’s Grandparents for Truth project is a way to join with other people to protect the freedom to learn and resist the army of right-wing censors who are stripping books that deal with race or sexuality out of schools and libraries. You don’t have to be a grandparent—you can join here.

Every day, Right Wing Watch exposes extremism to help the public, activists, and journalists understand the strategies and tactics of anti-democratic forces—and respond to an increasingly aggressive and authoritarian far-right movement. The threat is growing, but our resources are not. Any size contribution will help us continue our work and become more effective at disrupting the ideologies, people, and organizations that threaten our freedom and democracy. Please make an investment in Right Wing Watch’s defense of the values we share.

The post Anti-LGBTQ Christian Nationalist Leader Joins Arkansas State Library Board appeared first on Right Wing Watch.


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