Missouri Introduces Bill to Ban Drag Queen Story Hour from Public Libraries

“Miss Kitty Litter” reading to children at a “Drag Queen Story Hour” in the Austin Public Library in Austin, Texas. | Courtesy of Mass Resistance

A bill has been introduced in the Missouri state legislature to restrict drag performers from reading to small children at libraries, a phenomenon that has upset parents nationwide.

Called the “Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act,” the legislation is aimed at libraries that display “age-inappropriate material” and proposes losing state funding and penalizing librarians with fines or jail time, according to the Kansas City Star. The bill’s sponsor in the Missouri state house is Rep. Ben Baker, a Republican from Neosho, in the southwestern region of the Show Me state.

“In some places — St. Louis, Kansas City and I think St. (Joseph) — they’ve had these drag queen story hours and that’s something that I take objection to and I think a lot of parents do,” Baker said.

“That’s where in a public space, our kids could be exposed to something that’s age-inappropriate. That’s what I’m trying to tackle.”

Baker’s bill does not apply to books.

“If we were trying to ban books or censor literature, I would kill the bill, myself,” he said.

Librarians who refuse to remove age-inappropriate content could be convicted of a class B misdemeanor and be required to pay a $500 fine and be sentenced up to a year in jail.

Thus far, the Kansas City Public Library has never formally hosted a Drag Queen Story Hour though such events have been held in area museums and theaters.

Around the country, protests have sprung up as libraries have opened their doors to drag performers. Parents and local activists have argued that drag is both misogynist and sexually explicit content that endangers children.

Most infamously, The Houston Public Library apologized for not performing background checks as was required in their own internal policies, when it was discovered that one of the drag queens that was invited to read to children was a convicted sex offender who had committed crimes against children.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter