Reading The Gay Way

A controversial gay-themed library set to open in Fort Lauderdale this week

The Stonewall Library and Archives is full of books and it's gay all the way.

The controversial gay-themed library has settled into its new home in Fort Lauderdale after years of heated debate over the need for a separate library for homosexuals. It will open Thursday, which coincides with the gay and Lesbian Literary Arts Festival this weekend.

The founders of the library objected to being a part of the main library system for reasons unknown.

People who use the new library have to be 18 or older to access the 20,000 or so books, movies and other material, but Stonewall executive Jack Rutland told the Miami Herald the library contains ''nothing you are not going to see at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. It's all gay-themed, nothing remotely objectionable."

Former Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle called some of the material porn but lost his battle to shut down the collection.

The library had meager beginnings in 1973, starting as sort of a book club between a group of friends at FIU. But the collection continue to grow until organizers amassed the thousands of books it will house in the new building.

Stonewall will be open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. It's free to visit but a library membership costs $30 a year for people who want to check out materials.

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