I went to Portland for the long weekend. Portland is fantastic. There is Voodoo Donuts, a donut shop that doubles as a wedding venue and Swahili language school. There are also lots of fantastic independent bookstores like Powells and Reading Frenzy.
I am often puzzled by the United States. The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) sent out a press release yesterday condemning a new law in Indiana that would require booksellers to register with the government if they sell “sexually explicit materials”. I know Portland is far away from Indiana (I also realize one is a city and the other a state), but it’s baffling to me that some places in the US can be so progressive and other places are…well, not so.
From the ABFFE press release:
Ãƒ ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã…”Sexually explicitÃƒ ¢Ã¢”š ¬ is defined so broadly that the law could apply to bookstores that sell mainstream novels and other artistic works with sexual content as well as educational books about sexuality and sexual health. H.B. 1042 was signed into law last week by Governor Mitch Daniels. Ãƒ ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã…”It is un-American to force booksellers to register with the government based on the kinds of books they carry,Ãƒ ¢Ã¢”š ¬ ABFFE President Chris Finan said. Ãƒ ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã…”It is also unconstitutional, and we intend to do everything we can to challenge this violation of the First Amendment rights of Indiana booksellers and their customers.Ãƒ ¢Ã¢”š ¬
Thanks Michael Burris for the email.