“Drag Queen Story Hour” brings crowd with passionate comments to council

Mobile County
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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – Dozens of people showed up to let the Mobile City Council know they were against the Drag Queen Story Hour being held at the library.

Only two people signed up to speak during the council meeting, both against the story time being held at the library. One of them, Pastor Fred Wolfe, he is the pastor at Luke 4:18 Fellowship. He spoke to News 5 last week about his concerns over the story hour. 

“I’m just warning us of the danger,” said Pastor Wolfe.

A passionate meeting, frustration over the decision to allow a group to reserve a room at the public library, where a drag queen will read to children.

“Now, I know that they’re talking about diversity, and embracing the whole culture. But it’s much deeper than that,” said Pastor Wolfe.

A drag queen, trained by a local elementary school teacher, will be reading storybooks to anyone who attends but the event is designed for kids aged 3 to 8, according to the event Facebook page. The Drag Queen Story Hour will start at noon on September 8. Rainbow Mobile is sponsoring the event. They tell us this is a completely optional event, geared toward children, but anyone is invited to attend.

“I’m just warning us of the danger,” said Pastor Fred Wolfe, with Luke 4:18 Fellowship.

A passionate meeting, frustration over the decision to allow a group to reserve a room at the public library, where a drag queen will read to children.

“Now, I know that they’re talking about diversity, and embracing the whole culture. But it’s much deeper than that,” said Pastor Wolfe.

During the council meeting, Levon Manzie, the Vice President of the Mobile City Council, had Scott Kinney, the executive director of the Mobile Public Library system, address the concerns of the crowd.

“Our meeting room policy is what is at question here, it’s a First Amendment right, because we are what is called a limited public forum, because we are a public building, all groups have the right to use our meeting rooms, if we are open to the public,” Kinney said to the crowd.

He continued, “if we open our library meeting room to the public, we cannot discriminate against any group, we have to have it open for all.”

Reiterating this is a First Amendment right.

“Let me just say this, the umbrella in this city is has got to be big enough for all of us to get under. I don’t care if you’re straight, gay, everybody has got to get under the umbrella. Because for more than 200 years, my ancestors couldn’t get under that umbrella. If you think I’m going to kick somebody from under the umbrella? I’m not going to do it,” said Richardson.

“We are sympathetic to the folks who feel this is inappropriate use of the public building, we are sympathetic to what they are saying, but we are also sympathetic to the other organization that followed the rules and booked the meeting room for their event, too. And we have to be open to all of them,” said Kinney.

But for those who are making their voices heard, they still think it’s wrong to use the library.

“The library gives it credibility,” said Pastor Wolfe.

The Common Sense Campaign Tea Party is hosting the protest which is scheduled a few hours before the reading event is scheduled to begin. According to the event’s Facebook page, the protest begins at 9:55 a.m. on September 8th in front of the library at 701 Government Street. 

The Mobile Public Library says Rainbow Mobile followed all 14 requirements for booking a meeting room. You can find the full list of requirements here.

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