ABFFE Condemns Indiana Bookstore Registration Law
NEW YORK, NY, March 25, 2008 – The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), the bookseller’s voice in the fight against censorship, today condemned a new Indiana law that requires mainstream bookstores to register with the government if they sell “sexually explicit materials.” “Sexually explicit” 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. “It is un-American to force booksellers to register with the government based on the kinds of books they carry,” ABFFE President Chris Finan said. “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.”
Finan said ABFFE will ask the Media Coalition to file a legal challenge to the Indiana law. Media Coalition defends the rights of businesses that produce and distribute books, magazines, movies, videos, recordings and video games that are protected by the First Amendment. Its members include ABFFE, the Association of American Publishers, and the Freedom to Read Foundation.
Last week, ABFFE urged Governor Daniels to veto H.B. 1042 in a letter that was co-signed by 15 independent bookstores, the Great Lakes Booksellers Association and Borders. To read the letter, click here: