It’s Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read! In honor of the event, here’s a  video of gay dads Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, authors of And Tango Makes Three, reading from their book, which for several years topped the American Library Association’s list of most challenged books.

The video was taken last year at an event sponsored by the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. The book (for those of you who don’t know it) tells the true story of two male penguins who cared for an egg and raised a chick.

When I asked the men a few years ago what they thought about the challenges to Tango, Richardson responded:

We can think of lists we’d prefer to top.

I will say that, as gay men of a certain age, we are no strangers to fear and anger being directed towards us and families like ours. But unlike in the debate of gays in the military, gays at the altar, gays in the Boy Scouts, and so on, this time the government is squarely behind us, and that makes all the difference. And not only is the U.S. Constitution indisputably on our side (the U.S. Supreme Court wrote about a similar case of book suppression in 1982 “Our Constitution does not permit the suppression of ideas”), but throughout these years of challenges we have had the great support of the American Library Association, the ACLU, and PEN America as well as countless teachers, librarians, parents, and most meaningful to us, children. When a group of New York City 5th graders get together to give you an award for writing a book that furthers the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr., it becomes much easier to shake the image of the angry mother waving your book around on Fox News.

Enjoy the reading:

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