JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Proposed legislation in Jefferson City would change the way libraries determine what material is age-appropriate for children.
Demonstrators, including drag queens, are expected to head to the Missouri Capitol on Saturday, March 7, to protest.
State Representative Ben Baker’s bill would create an elected parental review board for each library to determine what material is age-appropriate for the children’s section.
He has concerns about drag queen storytimes taking place in some communities.
Baker feels the events are not appropriate for children.
Protestors feel the story hour is a way to help children see positive role models who are part of the LGBTQ community and feel the proposed legislation would only reinforce negative stereotypes.
“Let’s give some of the power back to the people in those communities and the parents in those communities to weigh in on that process and especially if there are problems that are arising in their communities they are concerned about that elected board of those community members parents in those communities could make a determination whether this event for this material should be available to minors,” said Representative Baker.
Critics call the bill censorship.
Librarians face a misdemeanor if they don’t remove material the elected board finds inappropriate.
Baker says the material or event could still move to the adult section of a library.
Saturday’s protest at the capitol is scheduled for noon.