Drag queens will soon be reading stories to small children at the Leander Public Library, courtesy of a local church.
Drag Queen Story Time, a controversial summer “kids’ event,” was originally organized by Leander’s library, but the city cancelled their plans after public backlash over the event’s inappropriateness for children.
“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,” an official statement read.
Soon after the city’s decision, however, a local church stepped in to bring the event back.
“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 church is renting a room in the public library to host the drag queen event, and the congregation’s leaders said the Leander Police Department will also be attending to monitor safety.
The city, a suburb of Austin, released a statement regarding the controversy.
“Sometime today, Open Cathedral church finalized an agreement to rent one of the library’s conference rooms on June 15, which is available for all members of the public to rent. We understand that the planned event is similar to Drag Queen Story Time,” the statement read.
The city also made it clear that they are not responsible for the gathering.
“While the event will still be held at the Leander Public Library facility on the same day as previously scheduled, activities will be hosted and managed by Open Cathedral church, not Leander Public Library or the City of Leander. Use of library conference rooms also does not constitute a City of Leander endorsement of viewpoints expressed by participants in the rental agreement, and rental requests are honored on a first come, first-served basis.”
According to Leander’s website, they are collecting feedback from citizens on library events moving forward:
“The City is undertaking a review presently that will include a survey soliciting input from Leander citizens on their interests in future library activities.”