Glen Carbon votes against public libraries promoting drag queen story hours

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A drag queen story hour in Galesburg earlier this year. Photo by Monica Corsaro

Voters voted down a non-binding ballot referendum on allowing tax-supported libraries to promote drag queen events to kids.

St. Louis-based KSDK reported that 69% of voters in the Metro East town voted no on the measure.

The measure, which was on the Madison County ballot, asked voters if tax-supported libraries and schools should promote drag queen events to minors. It was added after the Glen Carbon Centennial Library hosted a drag queen story hour over the summer. Library Director Christine Gerrish told the TV station it was one of the best attended events of the summer.

“I have to say they were some of the best-attended programs of the summer,” Gerrish told KSDK. “We had 60 people for the adult program, and around 50 for story time.”

The measure got on the ballot thanks to Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler (R). According to the Belleville News-Democrat, he also wants the library board trustees replaced because of the drag event.

“I think that what the library management did and what the trustees allowed was really not in sync with the community, and I think the vote reflected that,” Prenzler told the newspaper last week.

He said that the results of the vote show that most residents don’t support it. He told BND that he thinks that drag queen events are inappropriate for kids.

The newspaper reported that protesters at the June event repeated many of the same claims that have been made at drag queen events in other parts of Illinois, that the events are “sexualizing” and “grooming” children.

However, the referendum is also non-binding. So there is nothing barring the the library from planning another one, though none are planned right now.

“It has no legal binding to what we can do in the future,” Gerrish told KSDK. “It is an opinion poll for the most part, but it’s an important opinion poll.  We want to know what our community wants and doesn’t want.”

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