June 04, 2019
At one Ohio library, teens could check out a lot more than books. They could also get the latest in drag queen fashion -- at least until one Republican found out.
Using the excuse of LGBT Pride Month, the Licking County Library in Newark had a lot of events scheduled for kids. A tutorial on drag queen make-up, crafts, and a safe-sex program were just part of the "festivities." When pastors, local parents, and the state family policy council got wind of the town's plans, the complaints started pouring in. Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R) was so surprised he didn't believe it.
In a letter to the Ohio Library Council, he didn't shy away from telling the group what he thought of their "pride celebration." "This isn't about banning books or banning thought or any other red herring argument. This is about right and wrong. This is about being good stewards of the public's money," Householder argued.
"Like you, I am a strong believer in the 1st Amendment and fully support the freedom of speech. And like you, I'm a strong believer in our libraries. But I also believe in common sense. When I was first informed that our public libraries were being used to teach teenage boys how to become drag queens, I thought it was a joke. But the joke is apparently on taxpayers who fund our public libraries... This is a stunningly bizarre breach of the public trust. And it must stop."
Thanks to Speaker Householder and a coalition of angry citizens, it did. The Licking County Library announced this week that organizers would have to find another venue for their indoctrination. Our friends at the Citizens for Community Values cheered the victory. "Speaker Householder said what every Ohioan knows is true in their heart: drag queen training events have no place at our public libraries," Aaron Baer told reporters. "We need to let children be children, and not try to sexualize them. You don't need to be a Bible-believing Christian to recognize that "Drag Queen Story Hours" are not something our taxpayer dollars should be promoting to kids."
Apparently, the Delaware County Library also got the memo, because that branch -- which is nearby -- canceled a similar kids' class ("Drag 101") when members of the community overwhelmed their phone lines. If you think your calls and emails don't make a difference on issues like these, trust me. From a local library to Capitol Hill -- they do!
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.