SPOKANE, Wash.-- Heated protests sparked outside Spokane Public Library on the South Hill Saturday ahead of the library's Drag Queen Story Hour.
Police began arriving on scene about two hours before the event began at 2 p.m. to get ahead of the protests. Demonstrators appeared on both sides of S. Perry St. by about 1:20 p.m., KREM 2's Shayna Waltower tweeted Saturday.
The drag queens arrived for the event as protesters and supporters for the event stood on opposite sides of the street waving their respective signs.
“It shows me that I can be strong enough to stand up for truth and righteousness. I don’t have to sit at my home and hope somebody else will do it for me,” said Anne Schmutz, one of the protesters.
Across the street people were wearing and waving cloths of rainbow.
Sarah Walsh brought her two children to the reading. She said bringing them to the event was about more than a story time, but also teaching them what she believes makes for a strong community.
“We wanted to make it known that we’re supportive of anyone at the library that wants to celebrate learning and children and positive thinking, like celebrating their uniqueness,” she said.
The opposing sounds of the groups of people didn’t interfere with the event. A line of parents and children wrapped from the entrance of the building down a sidewalk that led to the street.
“I believe in teaching my children about diversity,” Walsh said. “We believe in a family about diversity and individuality. We just think that it’s very important to have a family that celebrates everyone, whether they look like us or not.”
“It’s important raising a family to make sure that they’re exposed to a lot of diversity and knowing how to respond to people,” said Angel LaBrue, who brought her two children to the event.
Another Drag Queen Story Hour is scheduled to take place at the downtown library June 22.