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Commissioners vocalize concerns with ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ at library

Lexington Park, MD - As St. Mary’s County Commissioner Mike Hewitt[R-District 2] briefly described during the June 18 commissioner’s meeting, one upcoming “Drag Queen Story Hour” that is planned to be held at the Lexington Park Library on June 23 has become “complicated.”

The event in question, which is being planned by the Southern Maryland Area Secular Humanists(SMASH) and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Leonardtown, is described by the organizers as “just what it sounds like.”

“Drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores,” the organizers detailed on their Facebook event post. “[Drag Queen Story Hour] captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.”

The event itself, which appears to have caught quite a bit of attention with around 100 RSVP’s on Facebook, became a major talking point as a majority board of county commissioners weighed in their thoughts on it during their most recent meeting.

“Our phones have been ringing for a couple weeks now and [we’ve received] emails over ‘round three’ with our public library,” Commissioner Todd Morgan[R-District 4] said during his remarks. “Round one was ban the books, round two [was] the pole dancer, this time it is going to be the drag queen. We learned this morning from our board of education meeting that we have 700 kids enrolled in Pre-K. The target audience of the drag queen [event] coming up is going to be 3 to 9-year olds. It’s concerning to me. This to me is a pattern, and its a step-by-step pattern that is going after and targeting youth.”

However, Morgan was not alone in his stance. The only commissioner not to condescend of the forthcoming event in their remarks that was in attendance was the last to speak, Commissioner President Randy Guy, who chose not to address the topic at all.

“It’s not something I endorse or condone,” Commissioner Eric Colvin[R-District 1] said.  “For our children it’s terrible. Parents, do not bring your kids to that if you are concerned about it, nobody is being forced to attend it… To my Christian brothers and sisters out there, I would urge you to remember the command that Jesus gave us, to love our neighbor as ourselves, to show the kind of love to the people who may be a little different from you… that is the only way that change will happen in this world for the better.”

Commissioner Morgan made it a point to note how there will be a “significant police presence” at the time of the event which will be from 2-5 p.m., citing how it is the job of government to always provide appropriate access to public services.

“We have a right to protect our citizens from disruption of public services, and the library is a public place,” Morgan explained. “I realize the library sits there and says that we aren't sponsoring this which they're not. The library board is a state agency which the commissioners have no control over… and it’s unfortunate but that’s the law. We went to go after the law last year and we had our butts handed to us in Annapolis.

This is not about homosexuality, it’s not about heterosexuality, stop targeting the kids for sexuality. Period. Leave the kids be kids.”

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