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Suburban Chicago Library board president under fire for anti-LGBTQ comments

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VERNON HILLS — The president of Cook Memorial Public Library is under fire for anti-LGBTQ comments she made at a conservative conference a few years ago.

According to the Daily Herald, Bonnie Quirke said that libraries were promoting the “homosexual agenda” during a speech hosted by the Illinois Conservative Union.

The newspaper reported that the speech was uploaded to YouTube in 2010, but only attracted attention in the past week.

From the Daily Herald:

“The library abounds with the homosexual agenda, especially in the children’s department,” Quirke tells the audience in the video before singling out a picture book called “Heather Has Two Mommies” for disdain.

That book is in the Cook Memorial collection.

In the same speech, Quirke complained the American Library Association, a group that promotes libraries and library education, “is as left as you can get.”

“And we want to bring it as right as we can get it,” Quirke said.

Quirke’s speech was denounced by more than a dozen district residents — and some fellow trustees — during Tuesday’s meeting, which was held remotely because of the COVID-19 crisis rather than at one of the Libertyville-based district’s facilities.

Vernon Hills resident Mary Jane Wang said she was disturbed by the video.

“There’s no place for that kind of ignorance and discrimination in a public library,” Wang said.

Local residents have been calling for Quirke to step down. The newspaper said that she has been on the library board since 2005 and the president since 2010.

The Herald reported she has gone on record with anti-LGBTQ views at other times. The newspaper did an interview with Quirke in 2013, where she blasted marriage equality before it was legalized in Illinois as well as saying gay men don’t maintain monogamous relationships and doubting the abilities of same-sex parents.

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