Amid calls by Republicans across the country to ban and even “burn” LGBTQ books, the Denton, Texas public library is being forced to cancel Saturday’s Rainbow Family StoryTime after “hostile complaints” created concerns for the safety of staff and patrons. Among those complaints was an attack by a rabidly anti-LGBTQ former Republican state senator who is running to unseat Governor Greg Abbott.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Don Huffines, who has spent years attacking LGBTQ Texans, late last week “demanded the City of Denton cancel the event and fire the employees who approved it,” he said in a statement.
Falsely calling it “Transgender Story Time,” Huffines blasted the event, which is one of 300 the Denton Public Library says it holds annually. He also attacked it as “taxpayer-funded,” because librarians are the ones hosting the event and reading books to children.
“Texas libraries are supposed to be places where Texans can read and learn, not spaces where public employees take the innocence of kids and replace it with Leftist sexual indoctrination,” Huffines claimed, falsely calling the event “a threat to Texas children.”
The City of Denton on Monday pushed back, saying since “this event was announced, inaccurate information about the event’s purpose and content has been spread within and beyond our community. We have received a number of disrespectful and hostile complaints based on this inaccurate information and, unfortunately, a number of these have caused us to have concern for the safety of event participants as well as City staff.”
The City promised to reschedule the event “so that families who would benefit from the program can have access to its positive and inclusive message of friendship and self-expression.”
The “event is not focused on teaching children about gender identity or anything relating to sex or sexual orientation. It is certainly not, as some have claimed, ‘indoctrinating’ children into a transgender way of life.”
“The StoryTime features books about families, friendship, and being yourself. Its intent is to provide an inviting atmosphere for families to hear stories together featuring books focused on self-acceptance, learning, and friendship. This StoryTime occurs three time per year and is scheduled to coincide with days focused on ‘different’ or marginalized groups, such as Transgender Day of Remembrance in November.”
On the Denton Public Library’s Facebook page comments were overwhelmingly supportive of the library and the event.