Metro Weekly

Anti-LGBTQ group plans monthly protest of Houston Public Library’s Drag Queen Storytime

MassResistance plans "peaceful protests" to pressure politicians and library officials into cancelling event

Houston Public Library, Collier Regional Branch – Photo: Facebook.

The Houston chapter of the national anti-LGBTQ right-wing group MassResistance is marshaling supporters to protest the Houston Public Library’s monthly “Drag Queen Storytime” event.

MassResistance said in an email to supporters that it intends to register its objection to the monthly event, in which drag queens read aloud stories to children, with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Houston City Council in a public session.

The group hopes that public pressure will convince politicians to take action or library officials to permanently cancel the event.

If politicians fail to act, the group will then hold what it claims will be monthly “peaceful protests” outside the library’s Freed-Montrose branch, located in a predominantly LGBTQ section of town, for as long as the event continues — with protests planned until at least Dec. 28, 2019.

MassResistance believes that the story hour serves as an underhanded way of promoting a pro-LGBTQ agenda by indoctrinating children as young as 18 months into believing that the drag queen “lifestyle” is acceptable. 

“This agenda is anti-family, anti-life, anti-biology, and it is coming for your children!” the email reads.

Many social conservatives often conflate drag queens with transgender people, and decry the idea that gender is fluid or based on something other than one’s assigned sex at birth. Some have even argued that the event violates their First Amendment right to hold religious beliefs that say gender is fixed, immutable, and based on one’s assigned sex at birth.

A separate group of conservative Christians previously filed a lawsuit against the library and Turner, alleging that the event violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution by favoring the religion of “secular humanism” over other faith traditions, specifically Christianity.

The lawsuit also argues that the library should not be able to host the program using taxpayer dollars, nor should it be able to advertise the program as “appropriate for all ages.”

One of the plaintiffs to that lawsuit is Chris Sevier, a conservative activist best known for filing lawsuits in courts throughout the country asking for the right to marry his laptop, in protest of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize marriage equality.

Sevier, who has previously identified himself as a member of the groups Special Forces of Liberty and Warriors for Christ, has filed an almost identical lawsuit against the public library in Lafayette, La., challenging a similar “Drag Queen Story Time” event.

Supporters of the event argue that its intention is not to indoctrinate children into the LGBTQ lifestyle, but to promote diversity, understanding, and inclusion of people who are different. For its part, Turner’s office says the lawsuit is frivolous and has “no merit.”

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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