Attorney General John O’Connor provides clarification on book obscenity review | national news

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor on Thursday appeared to backtrack on his office’s review of more than 50 books to see if any violated the state’s obscenity law.

“Our office is not investigating this matter at this time,” O’Connor said in a statement released Thursday. “I understand that there is a bill that has been introduced in this new session to address the concerns of these parents.”

O’Connor’s office said Wednesday it was reviewing the books and provided a list of more than 50 books under review.

Some books on the list are classics, such as “Of Mice and Men” and “Lord of the Flies.”

The list also includes “Gender Queer: A Memoir” and “The Every Body Book: The LGBTQ+ Inclusive Guide for Kids about Sex, Gender, Bodies, and Families.”

Online media outlet The Frontier first reported the story earlier this week.

“There is no ongoing book review, just standard citizen complaint handling,” said Madelyn Sheriff, a spokeswoman for O’Connor.

O’Connor said in a statement Thursday that he had received complaints from several parents about books they deemed obscene.

“I recommended that they take their objections to the school boards,” O’Connor said. “I also recommended that they discuss with the legislature how Oklahoma law defines ‘obscenity’.”

O’Connor said his office would continue to monitor the situation and intervene if any laws were found to have been broken.

We asked the sheriff what changed between Wednesday and Thursday.

“It turned into something bigger than it is,” she said.

She said O’Connor’s office assesses and reviews all complaints submitted by citizens.

“There’s just no investigation,” she said.

Colin L. Johnson