THE NEWS-SENTINEL EDITORIAL: Drag Queen Story Hour at libraries promote LGBTQ agenda

A branch of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library scheduled a Drag Queen Story Hour program for Feb. 23, which has sparked a firestorm of criticism in the community, and calls for the removal of three library board appointees from the local school board.

Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) programs, which originated in San Francisco, are occurring throughout the country. Men dressed in flamboyant makeup and women’s clothing, according to the DQSH website, “read a mix of surefire read-alouds and books that explore gender diversity and difference.”

Story hours on the calendar for the Allen County Public Library branches do not include this kind of promotion of the LGBTQ lifestyle.

DQSH is an intentional initiative designed to encourage and train drag queens throughout the country and the world to teach young children, ages 3-8, “to embrace gender diversity in themselves and in others.”

Based on the premise that “many children express gender fluidity,” the website dragqueenstoryhour.org says, “LGBTQ-positive programs like DQSH are a vital part of making the world a safe and affirming place for all children. LGBTQ children need role models, and all children should learn to embrace gender diversity and learn empathy.”

But the pastor of an Evansville church, Rev. Wayne Harris, said young children “lack the maturity to independently process what is being presented” at an event featuring drag queens. He also said he objects to those who normalize “the LGBT lifestyle.”

Opponents of DQSH rallied outside the meeting room prior to Monday’s Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. Board of Trustees meeting, according to the Evansville Courier & Press, and then filled many of the room’s seats for the board meeting. Harris was among many who made public comments before the board, urging cancellation of the Feb. 23 event and demanding the replacement of the three board appointees.

The American Library Association gives its full approval to DQSH, claiming that such events foster “a more equitable, diverse and inclusive society.”

But we object to public funds through organizations such as the public libraries supporting an agenda to influence young children about something they can neither understand nor process.

One of the testimonials on the DQSH website from a preschool teacher said, “Drag Queen Story Hour allows preschool children to deepen and complicate their ideas about gender at the exact age when they are often developing rigid ideas about this concept.”

But we agree with a letter to the editor in the Evansville Courier & Press that said, “We that oppose ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ at the library do not hate those performing or endorsing such actions. We do love our children and the pure innocence of a childhood. … Children ages 3-11 are not ready for such ‘heavy’ mental balancing. Children are like wet cement–whatever falls on them makes an impression. It is our position that children not be put upon and pressured to endorse drag queens and their lifestyle. If an adult cannot decide if they are a man or a woman, that is on them. If they don’t know which clothes to wear, don’t put that on others.”

When a Drag Queen Story Hour was held in Lafayette, La., late last year, Brad Parfait, a student at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette whose LBGT-focused fraternity was sponsoring the event, said, “It’s important for young kids to understand this is normal behavior, even if it may be different to some.”

But our position is that there is nothing normal about having grown men in women’s dresses read to little children. This program is clearly designed to indoctrinate young children with LGBTQ philosophies at an age when they may have no issues with their gender identity, and may be unduly influenced and confused by such events.

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