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?
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