FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – On Sunday, a local LGBTQ+ organization protested against Senate Bill 81 at the downtown Fayetteville Square.

Senate Bill 81 seeks to hold library staff criminally liable for “knowingly” giving out obscene materials to minors.

Protestors like Bryn Underwood stood outside for hours to say she and others would not allow this bill to happen.

“What they’re defining as obscene materials is things like anything that the pick someone being trans homosexual, anyone being depicted in anything that isn’t cis heteronormative and that is simply not ok,” Underwood said.

However, Republican State Senator Dan Sullivan, the lead sponsor of SB81, says the bill would protect children and empower parents.

“Giving parents the opportunity to weigh in or what books are in the library and where they’re placed and that is an issue that has been around the state,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan says a librarian won’t be immediately criminally charged, a prosecutor would have the final say on whether or not a librarian would be held criminally liable under the bill.

“The librarian would have to knowingly can’t accidentally or recklessly they have to know that a court has determined that material to be illegal and then if the librarian knowingly gives that to children, that’s illegal,” Sullivan said.

Underwood says children learning about bodily autonomy in books helps create a sense of self-identity.

“Preventing kids from having access to this kind of information, it leads to them not having any kind of bodily autonomy, which leads to them being taken advantage of, to them feeling ostracized to depression, to then just not being able to adequately come to the adults when they actually need them,” Underwood said.

Sen. Sullivan says their overall goal is to protect children and he says that’s exactly what this bill does.

“Ask them do they want to give out an obscenity they oppose letting your local government be responsible for what the people elected them to do,” Sullivan said.