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One teen's stand against censorship: Emma Rood tells a federal court the Children's Internet Protection Act could hurt gay kids. (On the Web).

Joanna Rood knew her lesbian daughter was fiery but she never expected her to needle the U.S. government in a lawsuit against the Children's Internet Protection Act.

The law, which went into effect April 20, 2001, forces federally funded libraries to install filtering software that blocks controversial Web pages, including many nonsexual gay and lesbian sites.

"The law is censorship," says 16-year-old Emma Rood, who is enrolled in a young scholar's program at Simon's Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington, Mass. "There is no way I'm going to stand by and let the government prevent people from finding help and learning about being gay."

On March 26, Emma Rood spent the afternoon testifying before a Pennsylvania federal court about how the new law would have blocked her from resources she accessed at the library that have helped her with her own coming-out.

Rood's mother Joanna, a Portland, Ore., librarian, agrees that libraries need to provide access to all the information the Web has to offer. "For many, the library is the only resource available; blocking certain sites will be devastating. Frankly, no blocking program can effectively distinguish good and bad Web sites."

The American Civil Liberties Union is assisting the Roods together with a number of plaintiffs in the CIPA lawsuit. The court expects to issue a ruling in May.
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Article Details
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Author:Hall, Jeremiah
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 14, 2002
Words:222
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