After backlash over a Drag Queen Story Hour — the controversial trend of drag queens reading to toddlers and children, usually in libraries — the board of directors of a Kansas library is divided on whether sex offenders should be completely banned from giving presentations, the Wichita Eagle reported.
So the board of the Wichita Public Library on Tuesday tabled a proposal to background-check for past sex offenses those who want to present at the library, the paper said.
While some board members said registered sex offenders should be automatically disqualified from headlining events, other board members said it should be allowable in some circumstances and want library staff to have some say, the Eagle noted.
In the end, the board voted to send the policy back to its operations committee for further revision, the paper said.
'It's not someone I would want presenting to my granddaughter'
Board member Lamont Anderson Sr. offered a list of sex crimes the proposed policy would cover, including rape, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated sodomy, solicitation of prostitution, and lewd and lascivious conduct, the Eagle reported.
"It's not someone I would want presenting to my granddaughter," Anderson said, according to the paper. "That's just me being truthful. When you don't have a locked-down policy at certain times, you sometimes can create a slippery slope where something gets through the cracks."
Not so fast
Board member Jonathan Winkler countered that sex offender registry standards vary from state to state and that a zero tolerance policy could wrongly ban a gay person for consensual same-sex conduct that used to be illegal, the Eagle said.
"We wanted to give staff the flexibility to work around situations like that," Winkler said, the paper reported.
Library Director Cynthia Berner said allowing sex offenders to present to children would be out of the question for her and the staff, the Eagle said, but added that it might be permissible to include a former sex offender in an adults-only discussion about the criminal justice system.
'A natural consequence of the LGBTQ agenda'
Craig Coffey, who pastors a small church in Derby, criticized last year's Drag Queen Story Hour at the library and was in favor of strong background checks, the paper said.
"Numerous incidents are being reported (nationwide) involving inappropriate contact between Drag Queen Story Hour participants and innocent children," Coffey said, according to the Eagle. "Those of us opposing these types of ill-advised programming policies are not surprised, as we see this as a natural consequence of the LGBTQ agenda as it is directed toward progressive liberal indoctrination of our children."
Here's a video report about last year's Drag Queen Story Hour:
Drag queens draw standing-room crowd at Wichita library youtu.be
'I just don't think it's necessary'
Rexy Que, leader of the Wichita Transgender and Community Network, said the library board should drop the list of sex crimes from the proposed policy and add violent felonies, the paper said.
"I think by saying 'sex offenses,' it's pretty clear what we mean; you don't need to list them," Que said, according to the paper. "But also, this is only about half of the different sex offenses that are actually in Kansas law ... I just don't think it's necessary. I don't think it adds anything to the policy."
Sex offender participated in Drag Queen Story Hour at Houston library
Albert Alfonso Garza never submitted a background check before being allowed to do the event, KTRK-TV reported. Garza was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of an 8-year-old in 2009, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Drag Queen Storytime Reader Once Charged with Child Sex Assault youtu.be
Garza participated in the program under the name Tatiana Mala-Niña, the Chronicle said, citing conservative group MassResistance.
Here's a clip of Tatiana Mala-Niña performing in 2016:
Tatiana Mala-Nina, If I Was You, at Fish Schticks July 25, 2016 youtu.be