Excerptd from FOXSanAntonio By Jordan Bontke
As the City of Leander is preparing for demonstrators for an upcoming drag queen story time event, the pastor of the hosting church said the city needs a progressive worship space.
On Saturday, Ryan Hart of the Open Cathedral Church will host 150 people who were given free tickets to the event that will take place at a conference room at the Leander Public Library.
Out of an abundance of caution, Leander city officials closed the library on Saturday, except for the conference room. Demonstrators are expected both in support and against the event. Mobile security cameras were placed outside the library for police to have a bird’s eye view of what’s going on.
“There have been thousands of people saying they’re interested,” said Hart. “Actually, I got an email today that said can we do this monthly.”
Earlier this year, reports out of Houston showed a registered sex offender was in attendance while at a similar drag queen story time event.
The Leander Public Library said they don’t currently conduct or request background checks of its presenters but the Central Texas Library system does have a screening process for recommended presenters which “includes references from previous clients and other libraries in the Austin area.”
Hart said he received “a bunch of people with interest” to read to the kids but he reduced it down to only performers who have experience with children.
“We went through interviews and we’re conducting background checks,” he said.
The Open Cathedral Church is two and half years old and Hart said there’s about 80 people who make up the congregation. 30 to 50 percent are part of the LGBTQ community, he said.
“This event, drag queen story time, has proved out that we are ready for an event like this, there have been hundreds maybe even thousands of messages from moms of kids saying we needed this,” he said.
The three books that are slated to be read are Love makes a Family by Sophie Beer, Red a Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall and Tango Make three by Richardson, Parnell and Cole.
The whole even is expected to last less than an hour and starts at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
“The core of the whole event is to show kids that it’s wonderful to be different, we express our differences in a lot of different ways. That will fit in right with the theme of people having different opinions,” said Hart.