ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A gay member of the Abilene Library Advisory Board is speaking out after citizens concerned about LGBTQ children’s books say he shouldn’t be serving on the board.

Jason Hernandez, who is a proud member of Abilene’s LGBTQ+ community, says he wants to use his role on the board to make sure everyone is treated fairly.

“I was appointed to a position to be open to all, correct, and speak for a community that may not be well represented,” Hernandez told KTAB and KRBC.

During Thursday’s city council meeting, Hernandez’s position was questioned when community member Patrick Batton called him out while council was holding a public discussion on the process of getting books banned.

Batton was part of a group of citizens who have raised concerns about LGBTQ children’s books that are available at the Abilene Public Library.

Although these specific books are not officially in the process of being banned, Batton says he is afraid Hernandez’s bias toward the LGBTQ community could affect his decision if the Library Advisory Board were to ever review the issue.

“I have no problem going though the proper process. Part of my concern is who our city council put on the Library Advisory Board,” Batton said during Thursday’s city council meeting. “If you research that individual, you’ll see some of the agenda that they have.”

Hernandez did say he supports the books staying on the shelves because it allows more of the Abilene community as a whole to have representation.

Abilene’s Library Advisory Board is made up of 7 members.