Two Christian organizations, Special Forces of Liberty and Warriors for Christ, have filed a case against the Lafayette Parish Library as it will host “Drag Queen Story Time.” This event will witness the Delta Lamda Phi chapter of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette reading to children aged between three to six years. The aim is to celebrate diversity by helping children to look beyond gender stereotypes and accept differences. Defendants, in this case, include Teresa Elberson, the Library Director, and John Bel Edwards, the state Governor, and Jeff Landry, the state Attorney General.
The Library board has for now stuck to its stand. It declined to discuss this item on the forthcoming September 24 meeting agenda. It also took the decision to abstain from any kind of public discussion before permitting residents to put forward their respective views. The event was denounced on record by Councilman Jared Bellard and Councilman William Theriot of Lafayette City-Parish Council. This was symbolic as the council has no influence over Library matters. The two were joined by Councilwoman Nanette Cook, who felt that the event was not appropriate for young children. She, however, said that her vote mirrored only her personal opinion. The remaining six council members declined to any action.
In the face of such divided opinion, it will be hard to predict the unfolding of events. It remains unclear as to whether protestors would throng the library premises and if this happens, how to tackle them. Observers are not sure as to how the media would cover this event. Leaders of conservative groups like the Louisiana Family Forum have issued statements saying that they will take all "corrective actions" to bar this event from happening. The group has not planned any sort of events after that. Gene Mills, the president of the Forum, said that members have no interest in attending any sexually oriented event created for three-year-old children.
Here, America. Something new to get upset about: https://t.co/mNeF9eN1pk
— Martin Kaste (@martinkaste) September 20, 2018
The comment by Mills revealed the thinking gap between the opponents of this event and its supporters. The latter insisted that the event doesn’t concern gender identity or sex. It concerns teaching children the tenets of tolerance. Speakers of both supporters and opponents did not budge during six hours of debate in a public accessed room. The communication happened over two meetings, with each participant accusing the another of having a destructive agenda.