LEANDER, Texas — After the City of Leander canceled a controversial “Drag Queen Story Time” event at the Leander Public Library, a local church has decided to rent out a public room in the library and host the event itself.
“We must never stop striving for safe spaces for our kids to be unique and loved no matter what,” wrote the Open Cathedral Church on Facebook.
The organization that runs the library for the city was talking to Valeri Abrego, a drag king. Abrego said they were notified over email.
“I think it’s been blown out of proportion for no reason,” Abrego said. “They’re reading just a book, they’re getting dressed up and they’re reading a book and it’s honestly no different than if a character from one of those books came out and somebody had dressed up as that character to read.”
According to the City of Leander, the event was canceled based on feedback from the community:While numerous events are presently under review, the city’s decision to cancel these events at this time was made collectively among City and library management staff after receiving input from many citizens and community stakeholders,” the City wrote on an online FAQ page about the event. “Council members did not vote on this action. These are decisions allowed under the City’s management services agreement with the library.
Leander’s Mayor Troy Hill released the following statement over the controversy on Friday:
So by now everyone knows about the library issue. Our library, which is run by a company contracted by the City, chose to wade into social issues water without approval from City Staff. Since then it has led to the predictable outrage and divisiveness that is the reason to avoid these issues. I would be curious if those favoring ‘inclusiveness’ would feel the same had it been storytelling time about the life of Donald Trump, or how those who want it canceled would feel about canceling a story of guns in America. We have lost our ability to discuss with respect for opposing views.
I believe we have more in common than we think. I want to go to ACL this year, and I can enjoy the same music those politically different than me enjoy. As Mayor, I recently appointed people to a ‘Citizens Advisory Committee.’ I purposely picked really smart people. Some voted for me, others didn’t. Some are conservatives others are not, and guess what? We have intelligent, meaningful discussions based on a shared desire to improve our city.
I propose we designate areas where we don’t wade into politics, social issues, or divisive discussions. Schools, music venues, churches, and yes libraries are a great start. Let’s make Leander a place where we get along and focus on areas we agree on.”
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[Editor’s Note: This article was written and originally published at KVUE News. Title changed by P&P.]
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