In the July 7 edition, Mr. Blackford wrote, "We can talk about love and kindness without tying it to a sexual movement."

Opponents to children learning about queer culture consistently tie queer sexualities to sex acts. This never extends to heterosexual material: somehow sexless.

Mr. Blackford wrongly conflated gender, sexuality and sex. He cites "72 genders," which is a reference to a transphobic online meme. He cites one interpretation of one religion's scripture as justification for censoring library display material, ignoring that parents, Christians and people of other faiths who are queer exist.

Worse, he ignores that queer children exist. He promotes a world where they have to hide while facing bigoted microaggressions from adults. Queer kids being denied access to their histories, communities and the words that help them describe themselves is a tragedy. Straight kids suffer here, too: They're denied the tools to help them relate to their future family, friends and colleagues.

Children are their own complex people. If they're old enough to pick up books, read them and ask questions, they're old enough to deserve answers.

This isn't really about protecting kids, though. This is about adults who know that if they teach their kids that queer people deserve respect and empathy, those kids won't inherit the bigotry the adults have mired themselves in. Those kids might one day understand that they, too, can love across the gender spectrum.

What an odd position people like Mr. Blackford take, to be so afraid of love.

Renay Williams

Jonesboro