Numerous citizens spoke in opposition to Drag Queen Storytime at Tuesday’s Houston City Council meeting, as part of a protest organized by an anti-LGBTQ hate group.
Anti-LGBTQ activist Linda Rodriguez announced in an email (below) on Nov. 22 that Houston now has a chapter of MassResistance, the Massachusetts-based organization that is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Our first event will be speaking to Mayor Sylvester Turner and council in a public session requesting Houston to stop Drag Queen Story Hour which is nothing more than a subtle push of the harmful and immoral LGBT ideas to children beginning at 18 months of age,” Rodriguez wrote. “This agenda is anti-family, anti-life, anti-biology, and it is coming for your children!”
Rodriguez, who goes by the nickname “Granny,” was active in the campaign to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which prohibited discrimination against LGBTQ people, in 2015.
The SPLC reports that MassResistance, which launched in 1995, is led by Brian Camenker, who links homosexuality to pedophilia, violence and disease, and links transgender women to sexual predators. Having gradually expanded in recent years, MassResistance includes chapters in Maine, Colorado, Missouri, California, Virginia, and Nigeria. A Texas chapter of MassResistance launched in 2017 and lobbied in favor of anti-transgender bathroom bills at the state Legislature.
In her email on Thanksgiving night, Rodriguez wrote that MassResistance Houston plans to protest monthly installments of Drag Queen Storytime at the Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library beginning Dec. 29—and continuing through 2019.
The Houston Public Library’s popular Drag Queen Storytime program, which launched in 2017, features drag performers reading picture books to children. It is one of dozens of similar programs across the nation.
In addition to MassResistance Houston, Drag Queen Storytime has come under fire from several other anti-LGBTQ groups, including the Conservative Republicans of Texas, which reportedly spent up to $1 million on a flier and TV commercial before the November election. Meanwhile, Catholic groups have repeatedly protested outside Drag Queen Storytime since August, and activists have filed a lawsuit seeking to ban the event.
Below is Rodriguez’s email.