Senator Santorum Book Signing Incident sign now

Senator Rick Santorum
United States Senate
Washington, D.C.
8/17/05


Dear Senator,

We, the undersigned, are a group of writers who publish in the field of young adult fiction. We are writing to express our disapproval of the event that occurred the first week in August at your book signing at the Concord Barnes & Noble in Wilmington, Delaware., and to ask you to take remedial action.

As you were not personally involved in the incident, you may not be aware of it so a brief summary is in order. Several young women went as a group to hear you speak. Some of them were overheard to say that they planned to express disagreement with some of the views set forth in your book during the discussion period which was to follow the signing. At least one suggested asking you to sign a book by a gay author.
A member of your advance staff, hearing this, criticized the young women and summoned your security staff. One guard, an off-duty police officer, threatened to have the young women arrested if they did not leave the store.
It seems to us that you should address this regrettable incident. It is disgraceful that young Americans should be threatened for attempting to exercise their rights as citizens in a public meeting.While your staff were only doing what they thought was best, it is up to you to make clear to them that they were profoundly mistaken. We request that you take the following actions:

Issue an apology to the young women.

Meet with your staff to make clear to them that you believe there was no basis, and no excuse, for their overreaction, and that disagreement with your beliefs is neither unpatriotic nor something you fear to encounter.

Discipline or fire the staff members involved.

The undersigned are particularly concerned as authors, as persons especially concerned with young people, and as fellow-citizens of the young women involved that this incident be addressed quickly and definitively. To do nothing would be an insult, not only to the victims, but to the principles for which they stood up.


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Senator Rick Santorum

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