Two religious organizations in Louisiana have filed a lawsuit in federal court in an attempt to stop their local library from hosting a Drag Queen Story Time, which they say is unconstitutional.
Filed Tuesday in Lafayette, Louisiana, by Warriors for Christ and Special Forces of Liberty, the groups maintain that the much publicized event, which is slated for Oct. 6, at the Lafayette Library, violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment because it furthers the religion of secular humanism, according to local media outlet KADN.
"By bringing this lawsuit, we are unapologetically and firmly defending the civil rights movement led by Pastor Martin Luther King," said Christopher Sevier, an attorney who's representing the two organizations.
He believes such story hours fail the Lemon test, referring to the 1971 Supreme Court decision in Lemon v. Kurtzman. The three-pronged test, as was established by this ruling, required that government action concerning religion must serve a valid secular purpose, cannot endorse a religion, and cannot entangle government with religion.
Sevier believes that Drag Queen Story Time endorses a religion and entangles government in religion.
"The evidence would suggest that the self-identified transgendered. They are using a government facility to show that the government backs their worldview to then target children, to indoctrinate them under a faith-based ideology," Sevier asserted.
"We have no problem with a drag queen story hour being held in a private facility. It can be held at the fraternity house. It can be held at the coffee shop. We draw the line by the fact we have government actors endorsing it."
He added that if the court will not halt it they will ask the court to allow a minister to be present to rebut it.
The defendants include Teresa Elberson, director of the Lafayette Parish Library, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry.
The lawsuit comes on the heels of the town of Lafayette City-Parish Council sponsoring a resolution last week to condemn the event at the library. The resolution, which was backed by 35 local pastors, denounces the library's approval of the event, particularly its targeting of young children.
Members of Delta Lambda Phi, a fraternity for gay men at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, had volunteered to dress in drag and read stories to children as a "vehicle for promoting acceptance and inclusion."
When the council voted on the resolution Wednesday, most members abstained.
Story hours at public libraries featuring drag queens have been occurring more often in recent months in cities large and small, and have come under intense criticism from Christian leaders who say the effort is intended to market homosexuality and transgenderism to impressionable young minds.
In a Facebook post earlier this month, evangelist Franklin Graham hailed the efforts of parents who are pushing back against such events. His words came in response an article in AL.com showing how parents across the South were voicing their objections to drag queens reading books to children like one titled Stella Brings the Family, which is about a girl who takes her two dads to a Mother's Day celebration.
Drag Queen Story Hour originated in San Francisco, California, with the purpose of providing "positive and unabashedly queer role models" for children. It now has chapters in 40 states and in other nations.