NBC reports that North Dakota may impose a ban on sexually explicit books, especially those that refer to gender identity, on public libraries. Librarians who ignore the proposed ban will be subject to 30 days in jail. Since the bill was introduced by the House Majority Leader, it may pass.

Books containing “sexually explicit” content — including depictions of sexual or gender identity — would be banned from North Dakota public libraries under legislation that state lawmakers began considering Tuesday.

The GOP-dominated state House Judiciary Committee heard arguments but did not take a vote on the measure, which applies to visual depictions of “sexually explicit” content and proposes up to 30 days imprisonment for librarians who refuse to remove the offending books….

Library Director Christine Kujawa at Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library said the library has a book with two little hamsters on the cover. At the end of the book, the hamsters get married, and they are both male.

“It’s a cute book,” Kujawa said — but it would be considered pornography under the bill because the book includes gender identity.

Facing criminal charges for keeping books on shelves is “something I never thought I would have to consider during my career as a librarian,” Kujawa added.

In addition to banning depictions of “sexual identity” and “gender identity,” the measure specifies 10 other things that library books cannot visually depict, including “sexual intercourse,” “sexual preference” and “sexual perversion,” — though it does not define any of those terms. The proposal does not apply to books that have “serious artistic significance” or “materials used in science courses,” among other exceptions.

Thanks to Christine Langhoff for suggesting this article.