Petition calls for ending story time at library

An online petition is asking the Brownsville Public Library to stop the children’s Drag Queen Story Time at the library.

The Drag Queen Story Time with Kween Beatix is scheduled for Friday.

The petition was started by Deborah Bell. A portion of the petition states: “We, the undersigned, are appalled that the Brownsville Public Library is, in part, behind the orchestration of the dangerous “Drag Queen Story Hour” phenomenon which is responsible for corrupting children with perverse notions of human nature.

The Brownsville Public Library must immediately STOP its promotion of this outrageous, dangerous, and abusive activity in Brownsville’s libraries.”

As of Monday afternoon, the petition had 662 signatures.

The library is celebrating Pride Month and is hosting Pride Week at the library with various events.

The City Commission earlier this year created the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Queer of LGBTQ Task Force to inform the public of policy and program considerations that encourage inclusion within the community. At last week’s City Commission meeting, a proclamation was issued celebrating LGBTQ “Pride” month.

The petition goes on to read “These story hours use the library’s privileged position in the community, as a source of knowledge, to introduce children to sexual concepts which are well beyond their understanding. It is common knowledge that to expose children to sexual concepts beyond their years is tantamount to child abuse!

“And, unwary parents, trusting that the library system would never be used to corrupt their children, are taken by surprise. This is both spiritually and morally dangerous.

“Mindful of all of the above, we are calling on the Brownsville Public Library to STOP all promotion of Drag Queen Story Hours with immediate effect in addition to canceling the story hour scheduled for June 26, 2020.”

City officials said the city prides itself on being an inclusive and respectful community and that it supports the LGBTQ employees and residents. “Having the opportunity for individuals to read stories helps others understand diversity and further unites us as a community. This is happening in other parts of the state and the country. Drag Queen Story Hour is an optional program that parents may choose to sign up for. It will be held virtually,” city officials said in a press release.

This week’s Pride Week at the library is called “Love Is Love.” Activities scheduled include Craft Day Rainbow, Science Day Fizzy Rainbow, Show Your Pride and Drag Queen Story Time with Kween Beatrix.

“As mayor, I feel it is important to celebrate diversity among all of our citizens, including the LGBTQ community. The City of Brownsville was the first city in the Rio Grande Valley to have an LGBTQ task force, which is a symbol of the commission’s goals of being inclusive for all of our citizens. Nobody should be discriminated against and every resident of Brownsville deserves to have an equal voice,” Mayor Trey Mendez said.