Sydney City Reverses Book Ban: A Win for the Book Community

Protests rise in West Sydney over banned book. LGBTQ+ community successfully changes the city council’s decision.

Book Bans Book Culture
Chalk board with book cover

Cumberland City Council banned ​​Same-Sex Parents by Holly Duhig, causing a major divide in Western Sydney and sparking global backlash. Although the book is appropriate for ages five through seven, the council suggests that it is unbefitting for their school district. Last week, the council reversed their decision and reinstated the book in the Sydney school system.

What’s Same-Sex Parents about?

Let’s take a look at what the book contains. Duhig’s book teaches children family dynamics that are born from same-sex parenting, allowing kids who live in these households to gain a better understanding of their parents and upbringing.

Same Sex Parents by Holly Duhig, book cover depicting a gay couple swinging their daughter between them.

The goal is to provide relatable non-fiction content to children with same-sex parents and aid them with a new comprehension so that they do not feel lost in a world of nuclear families. This book can even educate children who do not have same-sex parents, reducing the rate of bullying and social rejection.

Why should it not be banned?

Banning Holly Duhig’s book from schools disempowers children living in unconventional households while forcing them to acknowledge only one binary — the nuclear family. Often, people claim that LGBTQ+ content corrupts young minds and attempts to “turn them gay.”

I’d argue that only granting access to a singular dynamic is corruption, as it forces the young mind to conform to one ideal. Luckily, I am not the only one who feels this way.

The LGBTQ+ community protested outside of the city council and chanted, “Together we stand, together we fight, we demand our equal rights,” and, “One, two, three, four, get the bigots out the door. “Five, six, seven, eight, no one should discriminate,” according to Gabriella Ferlita in her article, “Sydney Council reverses LGBTQ+ book ban after backlash: ‘We Demand our equal rights.’”

Due to their efforts, the council voted 12-2 to reinstate the book in the junior non-fiction section of their school system. I can proudly say that we bookish people have won this battle. Now, let’s win the war.


Want to know how to protest book bans? Read here.

Browse more banned books on our Banned Books: Because We Stand With the Well Informed bookshelf on BookShop.org

FEATURED IMAGE VIA BOOKSTR / MORGAN WILSON