Suspicion of Arlington Pride participants is unwarranted, hurtful

The article regarding the Pride event in Arlington garnered nearly 60 inches of coverage (“Arlington Pride even delayed after mayor questions ‘drag story time,’” The Herald, May 6). The request to omit drag story time due to safety and community concerns has left the organizers honestly hurt. Local officials are apparently asking that drag story time participants’ backgrounds be checked against sex offenders, assuming they groom children. The mayor wrote the city had been hearing about various community concerns.

The local Arlington Pride president was really shocked at being asked if drag story time participants would have their backgrounds checked. She cited 40-year-old anti-gay activism. Then stated the event postponed to research the fees charged by the city to compare them to other cities’ charges for similar events.

Arlington’s police chief and Mayor Barb Tolbert framed the issue as one of public safety. Citing the primarily community concerns of opposition to the sexualizing and corrupting of children through drag story time, the city has asked the organizers to provide security services or contract with off-duty officers along with insurance to use the city park.

The article points to Pride as celebrating people loving and expressing themselves. The organizer pointed to worry about people not “wanting us to have our civil rights show up causing trouble.”

Toward the end of the article, it reads: “If the ministers are uncomfortable, why should I care?”

Why should anyone care, indeed?

Diana McAlister


Talk to us

More in Opinion

Lummi Tribal members Ellie Kinley, left, and Raynell Morris, president and vice president of the non-profit Sacred Lands Conservancy known as Sacred Sea, lead a prayer for the repatriation of southern resident orca Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut — who has lived and performed at the Miami Seaquarium for over 50 years — to her home waters of the Salish Sea at a gathering Sunday, March 20, 2022, at the sacred site of Cherry Point in Whatcom County, Wash.

The Bellingham Herald
Editorial: What it will require to bring Tokitae home

Bringing home the last captive orca requires expanded efforts to restore the killer whales’ habitat.

Editorial cartoons for Tuesday, June 6

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

A map of the I-5/SR 529 Interchange project on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Editorial: Set your muscle memory for work zone speed cameras

Starting next summer, not slowing down in highway work zones can result in a $500 fine.

File - A teenager holds her phone as she sits for a portrait near her home in Illinois, on Friday, March 24, 2023. The U.S. Surgeon General is warning there is not enough evidence to show that social media is safe for young people — and is calling on tech companies, parents and caregivers to take "immediate action to protect kids now." (AP Photo Erin Hooley, File)
Editorial: Warning label on social media not enough for kids

The U.S. surgeon general has outlined tasks for parents, officials and social media companies.

Anabelle Parsons, then 6, looks up to the sky with binoculars to watch the Vaux's swifts fly in during Swift's Night Out, Sept. 8, 2018 in Monroe. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Editorial: Birders struggle with legacy, name of Audubon

Like other chapters, Pilchuck Audubon is weighing how to address the slaveholder’s legacy.

Comment: Biggest part of debt limit deal was the dealing

The White House and Congress showed they could find a path that can make real progress in reducing the debt.

Comment: Do we need refuge from drag shows and naked staues?

GOP lawmakers should know that most parents have bigger concerns than men in dresses and Michelangelo’s David.

Comment: To save Twitter, Musk should take it public

It goes against conventional wisdom, but then Musk has always defied how others get business done.

Comment: Milton Friedman was right; CEOs should focus on profit

Stumbles by Target and Budweiser show why wading into politics brings too many variables into the mix.

Most Read