MONTGOMERY — A bill removing school and public library obscenity exceptions died in the Senate without receiving a vote on the final day of the session Thursday.

House Bill 385 (HB 385) by State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) addressed the statewide controversy surrounding sexually explicit or obscene children's books in Alabama libraries.

The bill passed the House by a 72-28 margin on April 25.

Current law states, "It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly distribute, possess with intent to distribute, or offer or agree to distribute any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for anything of pecuniary (monetary) value. Material not otherwise obscene may be obscene under this section if the distribution of the material, the offer to do so, or the possession with the intent to do so is a commercial exploitation of erotica solely for the sake of prurient appeal."

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The state's obscenity laws do not apply to public libraries, public school libraries, college libraries, university libraries, or their employees. HB 385 would've provided that criminal obscenity laws do not apply to college or university libraries or their employees or agents but do apply to public libraries and public school libraries.  

“The problem is not going to go away. The American Library Association is a big advocate for transgender training of children. I mean, that’s what they train their librarians about. I’m sure there’s a lot of good librarians who don’t buy into that, but so many of them do, and that’s the unfortunate thing,” Eric Johnston, president of the conservative Southeast Law Institute, told 1819 News on Thursday.

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