On an evening when New York state legislators passed a historic marriage equality bill, librarians at the American Library Association annual conference were entertained, moved, and captivated by the conference’s opening keynote speaker, Dan Savage, syndicated columnist and co-creator with his husband, Terry Miller, of the “It Gets Better” viral video campaign. Alluding to the pending vote in New York, Savage, who married Miller in Canada, referred to him as “my boyfriend in New York,” and said that while the couple was “enjoying the premarital sex,” drawing laughter from the audience, he was looking forward to later joining Miller, who was in New York, as his husband. Soon after, the New York Legislature voted to recognize same sex marriages.
Savage likened his video campaign to the work of librarians,who are dedicated to information and offering access to that information. He praised librarians for offering the kinds of books that can help kids struggling with their sexuality, being bullied by classmates, rejected by their families and their churches, and portrayed libraries as a safe haven for many kids. As for why he turned his Internet-based effort into a book (published by Dutton in March) Savage drew applause, telling librarians “I’m a print guy, and books are magic.”
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