The Jacksonville Public Library has cancelled an event for ‘LGBT youth,’ claiming that that the event was co-opted by activists seeking to make a political point, and that it did not wish to engage in such an activity.
“While the planning team did a remarkable job putting together a program that would have provided a great experience for our teen customers, the co-opting of the event by others who wish to use it for their own purposes has created a situation in which the library is not confident that it will be 100% prepared to provide a safe, secure environment for customers, staff, volunteers, contractors, protestors and active supporters, and most of all for the teens themselves,” the library said on its Facebook page.
The event was meant to be a “dance without the labels and judgement,” but when the library became aware that the event was being associated with strong political statements, it backed off.
“It is unfortunate that this event became associated with political statement and shows of activism, as those are not part of the library’s mission in any way,” the library said.
Many of the community members were angry that the library pulled the plug on the event.
“I am appalled at your decision. As the daughter of a Librarian and as a Minister this absolutely breaks my heart,” said Elizabeth Teal in response to the post.
The library’s cancellation of the event comes amid the backdrop of public libraries being used for “Drag Queen Story Hours,” during which men dressed in drag read books to children. Such events have been widely criticized by the pubic at large for encouraging the sexualization of children.
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