Pro-family groups are upset about a blog by the Association for Library Service to Children's Intellectual Freedom Committee that promotes the "Drag Queen Story Hour."
The blogger writes:
"Interested in bringing Drag Queen Storytime to your library? ALSC Committee Members received tips for optimizing success from library pioneers who have already done it. We also had the chance to meet a Drag Queen who talked about the value of offering this program, including fostering empathy, tolerance, creativity, imagination and fun. Drag Queen Story Hour is a non-profit and you can find out more at its homepage."
In an article for the Illinois Family Institute, Laurie Higgins expressed outrage. Just to be clear, the ALSC is part of the American Library Association (ALA).
"This feckless ALA statement raises questions: Should we foster in children empathy for those who choose to engage in transvestism? Should we tolerate adults who expose children to transvestism? Should we encourage children to view men who masquerade as women as 'fun'?" Higgins asked.
She went on to criticize the ALA over its book purchase choices and concluded her article, writing, "And the ALA claims to be all about intellectual freedom. Yeah, right. And the emperor's new clothes are fabulous."
"The ALA is plunging deep into the 'drag' cesspool, pulling children down with them," Higgins wrote.
CBN News has reported about the spread of the Drag Queen Story Hour. It's been advertised as an event that "captures the imagination and play of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive and diverse role models."
It's part of a national initiative with more than 20 chapters across the country.
One parent in Virginia spoke in favor of the event.
"I think that we should say that everybody's different and we should accept people for their differences and that we should treat them as we would treat anybody else with just different tastes," said Robert Friedman, who took his children to a recent Drag Queen Story Hour in Virginia Beach.
"Some people like pizza. Some people don't like pizza. Some people dress up like women. Some people dress up like men," he continued.
"The library has a strategic plan and one of our big parts of our plan is inclusion and diversity," explained Katie Cerqua, a library youth and family services manager in Virginia.
"We offer about 8,000 programs for children and adults a year, and we just wanted to make sure we cover a wide variety of interests and speak to all members of our community," she continued. "So, this program fell into that strategic action item."
Concerned residents argue the program will harm children.
"They're going to get exposed to something they're really not sure about and be confused," Sharon Wiles said.
"We have become so open-minded that our brains are falling out," Elizabeth Johnston, also known as the Activist Mommy, commented.