In June, two librarians put up two rainbow-colored displays near the entrance of the public library in Sterling, Kan. — their way of celebrating autism and neurodiversity, according to a recently filed lawsuit.

In one, the rainbow colors formed an infinity symbol broken up only by a heart and accompanied by the words “We all think differently.” The other was a rainbow scarf adorned with the silhouette of a child in a wheelchair reaching out to the words “In diversity is beauty and strength.”

The librarians say they were fired after a library board member complained the display promoted an “LGBTQ agenda.”

On Tuesday, the two former librarians filed a lawsuit alleging that the Sterling Free Public Library’s eight-member board, the city of Sterling and its mayor violated their rights to free speech. In a 30-page complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for Kansas

Kari Wheeler and Brandy Lancaster accused one of the board members, Michelle Miller, of waging an illegal campaign to censor their pro-autism displays because she mistakenly thought they were promoting “LGBTQ agendas.”

Miller, interim library director Rochelle Rodger and Mayor Bob Boltz, who’s on the board, did not respond to requests for comment from The Washington Post on Wednesday. Sterling City Manager Craig Crossette declined to comment on the lawsuit.

In August 2022, Wheeler was hired as the library director, despite telling board members during her interview that she had never been a librarian before, her lawyer, Gaye Tibbets, wrote in the lawsuit. In March, Lancaster was hired part-time as her aide and the acting assistant librarian.