Protesters lined up outside the public library in Port Jefferson, New York, on Saturday to oppose the “Drag Queen Story Hour,” according to published reports.
What did they say?
People carried signs outside the Port Jefferson Library that read:
“Gender confusion therapy works.”
“Say no to Drag Queen Story Time, Library Board meeting Monday 7 p.m.”
“Children too young to make cognitive decisions – Stop indoctrinating.”
“Where is Bible story hour?”
“Honk to defend children’s innocence.”
Pastor Julio Carrion of Port Jefferson attended the event and said 4-year-olds should not be exposed to the drag queen ideology and message. He added that if organizers want to speak with him, he’s ready to have a civil discussion.
The Drag Queen Story Hour was organized by Harmonica Sunbeam to help students learn about accepting others, according to News 12 Long Island. During the program, Sunbeam read to children ages 4 through 8, made a craft with them, and took pictures.
Parents who brought their children called the event a celebration of diversity.
"It'll teach them that they can be who they want to be," dad Owain Morgan said. "They can be different. A little bit of glitter never hurt anyone."
Not everyone agrees.
In late August, Library Board of Control president Joseph Gordon-Wiltz resigned over a controversy sparked by a drag queen story event scheduled for October in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Are the story hours part of a concerted effort?
Still, the events seem to be popping up everywhere. Similar story hours have been held in cities from New York to Chicago and Los Angeles — and everywhere in between.
“It’s growing all over the nation, including the South,” Jonathan Hamilt, a New Yorker who helps organize the story hours nationwide, told The Associated Press earlier this month. He said there are drag queen story chapters in 40 states and in other countries.
Port Jefferson Library employees told the TV station they expected some criticism for booking the event. For a couple of weeks people called, sometimes anonymously, to swear at employees or simply ask why they were having the program, the report stated.
Organizers said they plan to have more Drag Queen Story Hours at the library in the future.