Amanda McElfresh Lafayette Daily Advertiser
Published 5:26 PM EST Nov 9, 2018
Baton Rouge Pride has announced plans to host a Drag Queen Story Time next month.
The event is scheduled for 2 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Aveda Institute Baton Rouge.
Earlier this year, a similar event was planned in Lafayette. That was a partnership between the Lafayette Public Library and the Delta Lambda Phi fraternity.
The Lafayette event has since been postponed, with no new date announced. It originally was scheduled to be at the library’s main branch downtown. It was then moved to a larger space at South Louisiana Community College.
However, SLCC announced two days before the scheduled event that it would not host it amid numerous security and logistical concerns.
The Lafayette event prompted widespread response from the community. Proponents said it would be positive, welcoming and a way to promote acceptance and tolerance. Opponents said it went against traditional family values and promoted sexual themes to young children.
A federal lawsuit is also pending about the Lafayette event. Two religious groups allege the story hour would violate the First Amendment.
Baton Rouge Pride Chairman Christopher Bradford said the event will promote acceptance, inclusion and anti-bullying.
“Though there have been many negative comments and connotations about our event, I’d like to take a moment to assure everyone that this is truly a child friendly event with children in mind,” Bradford wrote on the Baton Rouge Pride website.
MORE COVERAGE: Library board meeting turns contentious over drag queen story hour plans | Majority of council declines to vote on story hour resolution
The Baton Rouge event is for children ages 3 and up and their families. The Lafayette event would have been geared toward children ages 3 to 6 and their families.
“This event is NOT a drag show like you see at a bar or club, on TV or in movies,” Bradford continued. “The Drag Queens are dressing in appropriate, non-provocative costume… The individuals sitting and reading are amazing people who want to do good for our community in ways others can’t or won’t.”
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