HOUSTON – Opponents aren’t giving up their fight to stop an event at Houston libraries designed to teach children about love and acceptance.
It’s called "Drag Queen Story Hour."
It showcases drag performers reading books to children. It debuted in Houston earlier this year and is part of a national program.
The event is facing new backlash a month after a federal judge tossed out a conservative group’s lawsuit against the city’s library and Mayor Sylvester Turner in an attempt to stop it.
Linda Rodriguez, with the group Mass Resistance, calls the program brainwashing and destructive.
“Children are great imitators. Let's give them something great to imitate like moral and ethical values, not drag queen lifestyles,” Rodriguez said.
City officials said everyone is entitled to their own opinion and that members of the Montrose community came to them and requested to host the program at the Free Montrose Library.
They also said the presentation is voluntary, children are not being forced to attend. They also say it is not being paid for with taxpayer money.
“It continues to have a very good attendance and gets very good feedback so we are continuing with the program,” said Marjorie Gonzalez, marketing and public relations manager for the Houston Public Library.
Drag Queen Story Hour issued the following statement Wednesday morning:
"LGBTQ-positive programs like 'Drag Queen Story Hour' (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.
"Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is designed for children. Drag performers are trained by children’s librarians, read children’s books, sing children’s songs, and lead children in craft activities.
"DQSH teaches children to embrace gender diversity in themselves and in others, and helps to curb bullying of LGBTQ children and kids who may be perceived as different in all kinds of ways."