December 2018 Church & State - December 2018

Court Rejects Suit Challenging Texas Drag Queen Event

  Rob Boston

A Texas public library’s decision to allow a story hour led by a drag queen did not violate anyone’s religious-freedom rights, a federal court has ruled.

No public money was spent on the Drag Queen Story Hour, which took place at Houston’s Freed-Montrose Library in late October. A group of residents, led by businessman Tex Christopher, sued seeking an order to stop the event, arguing that it violated their religious freedom while promoting the “religion” of “secular humanism.”

U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal disagreed. In a brief order, Rosenthal wrote, “There is no basis to support the requested relief. The application is denied.”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who was named as a defendant in the lawsuit, told the Houston Chronicle that the case was “frivolous.”

“We acknowledge and celebrate that diversity in all its dimensions,” Turner said. “As mayor of this city, I want us to be diverse and inclusive, and I want to live in a city where people can be who they are and we can be tolerant of people’s opinions, ideologies, sexual orientation, ethnicities, religion and … cultures.”

The Chronicle reported that one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit was Chris Sevier, an anti-marriage-equality activist who has clogged courts around the country with frivolous lawsuits demanding the right to marry a laptop computer.

“It’s not about acceptance, love and tolerance,” Sevier told KHOU-TV. “It’s really about indoctrinating children to the ideals of secular humanism.”

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The Do No Harm Act will help ensure that our laws are a shield to protect religious freedom and not used as a sword to harm others by undermining civil rights laws and denying access to health care.

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