Rio Rancho citizens and countless others in Sandoval County cherish our city’s public libraries. Sadly, this beloved institution has come under attack by Mass Resistance, an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as an anti-LGBTQ hate group.

The Democratic Party of Sandoval County (DPSC) and many others have attended city council and library board meetings where Mass Resistance has advocated for removing LGBTQ+ books from the library. Its rationale is the discredited assertion that they are harmful to children.

At every meeting, those in favor of allowing individuals to choose what to read have vastly outnumbered the book banners. It is clear that that the overwhelming majority of citizens oppose censorship and believe parents are best suited to decide what their children should read.

On August 8, New Mexico Mass Resistance circulated a social media post — accompanied by a graphic sexual image — stating the American Library Association (ALA) wants to destroy the heterosexual nuclear family. It exhorted readers to go to their next library board meeting to speak out against this “evil”.

Heeding Mass Resistance’s call, we filled the room of last week’s library board meeting. Our goal was to defend freedom of expression. Curiously, no Mass Resistance members spoke, nor is it known whether any even attended.

After, Mass Resistance told the Observer it had no intention of attending the meeting and accused DPSC of fabricating a reason to rally our followers.

Banning LGBTQ+ books has the real world consequence of hurting LGBTQ+ children, contributing to depression and suicide. It is appalling that adults who fully know these consequences would encourage actions that inflict harm on children, but that is what Mass Resistance is doing.

We are grateful to the Rio Rancho City Council, library board, and librarians for ensuring children have access to LGBTQ+ books and for upholding the values of diversity, inclusion, tolerance, and respect—values required for a healthy democracy.

Any time we receive word that the freedoms of Sandoval County citizens will be infringed upon or children potentially harmed, we will mobilize to defend the people of our county.

Greg Bennett, Vice Chair

Aleta “Tweety” Suazo, Vice Chair

Alexandria Piland, Chair

Democratic Party of Sandoval County