Follow CBSPHILLY Facebook | Twitter
LANSDALE, Pa. (CBS) — There was an outcry in Montgomery County after officials allowed a public library to host what they described as “Drag Queen Story Time” for children. Protesters demonstrated outside the Lansdale Library Saturday.
But there were also dozens of supporters, too. There were more counter-protesters than protesters.
Back in November, a Lansdale resident, who is also a drag queen, asked to do story time.
He was given permission, because, according to the American Library Association, if there’s a public space, anyone can use it.
That’s what prompted protesters to clash Saturday.
“I’m going to go in there later and I’m going to check out a book. It’s called a Bible,” one protester said.
“Hate Evil. Love God” was among the signs held outside of the library.
The controversy surrounded the event inside called “Drag Queen Story Fun Time with Annie.”
It was a public children’s book reading to help them understand bullying, diversity and discrimination.
The host was a Lansdale resident and drag queen, named Annie Christ.
“We think that this event should not be taking place. We think it’s not good for the children and it’s wrong,” protester Margaret Zglinicki said.
“Some people ask me, ‘Why don’t you have a Bible story time?’ We’ve done that. There just was no protest and no big deal about it. We’re here for the whole community,” librarian Tom Meyer said.
The American Library Association has a Bill of Rights that makes public library meeting space available to all of the public.
Despite the legality, Lansdale Library received at least 50 phone call complaints.
Megan Kelly brought her son. She was among more than 100 people in attendance, taking a stand against the controversy.
“I kind of feel like it shouldn’t be [a controversy],” Kelly said. “I mean, we’re just here to have some fun. We’re gonna have a great time. He loves stories.”
Supporters say the message of the event transcends.
“The message is about acceptance and if people are bullying you, it’s OK. It’s going to happen and it’s OK to be different and accept yourself,” Meyer said.
As far as the protesters, they were made up of multiple groups.
They all stood firm on the same belief that today’s book reading should not have happened.