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Library Organization Weighs In On Drag Queen Drama

photo of Larry Householder
DAN KONIK
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
A letter House Speaker Larry Householder has sent to the Ohio Library Council about classes featuring drag queens has sparked a reaction from the council and politicians.

The Ohio Library Council responded to a letter House Speaker Larry Householder sent the organization in recent days, reminding them they receive state funds and demanding they stop libraries from offering classes featuring drag queens. Two Central Ohio libraries cancelled such events after backlash from their communities. 

The Ohio Library Council’s Michelle Francis said the organization encouraged libraries to continue to offer programming for all of the people they serve.

“Libraries are open to all. We do not discriminate. We do not discriminate. We are guided by federal law which requires that we be content neutral when it comes to speech in our public facilities,” she said.

Householder’s letter prompted some Democrats to speak out, urging conservative leaders and opponents to celebrate diversity.

At least one of the shows will go on. The presentation by drag performer Selena T. West will be held later this week at a comic book shop near the library in Delaware.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.