The state of Indiana just passed HEA 1042, which requires dealers of sexually explicit materials to register and file a statement with the secretary of state. It also imposes a $250 filing fee and requires the secretary’s office to notify county officials of the “sexual” business. Indiana booksellers are deeply concerned that the law is too broad, and may target bookstores that sell books that deal with sex or sex education.
Should bookstores stocking racy romance novels, the Bible (the Song of Songs read literally), or Dr. Ruth’s Sex for Dummies have to become state-registered vendors of sexually explicit materials? The law seems arbitrary and unconstitutional.
BookFinder.com’s a member of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, which works to protect the rights of readers and booksellers. The ABFFE’s been working on an industry-wide effort against the law, with the Borders book chain, the Great Lakes Booksellers Association, and 15 Indiana independent booksellers. It may turn into a legal challenge down the road.
- “Sexual content law irks booksellers” (Indiana Star)
- ABFFE letter to governor last week
- Full text of the law (PDF)
[Now reading: Silverfish by Saikat Majumdar]Posted by Anirvan