CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- Leaders from South Bay Pentecostal Church met with Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas Monday morning to voice their opposition to Drag Queen Storytime – a scheduled event for Tuesday afternoon when drag queens will read to children at the Civic Center Library.
The mayor says she rejected the church’s request to cancel the event. “It’s not any conspiracy to try to change children, to propagandize a lifestyle. This is simply an event to provide a reading option for children," said Salas.
By Tuesday morning, the city was setting up a "free speech zone" to allow protesters to demonstrate outside the library before the 4 p.m. event.
#NOW: free speech zone being set up in parking lot of Chula Vista public library ahead of “Drag Queen Story Time” at 4pm today. Mayor Mary Salas refused to cancel event despite protests and complaints. @fox5sandiego pic.twitter.com/b7HQ7CN0gm
— Aric Richards (@AricFOX5) September 10, 2019
Pastor Amado Huizar says his church and those who oppose the event feel it’s inappropriate for young children.
“They don’t know how to read yet, some of these kids, but we’re going to try to push a sexual agenda? Left or right, wherever you stand across the board – that is not appropriate," said Huizar.
Church leaders also suggested the event be postponed or moved to another location, such as the South Bay Pride Festival on Saturday.
The mayor wasn’t up for those ideas as she showed a couple of the books that drag queens will read to children.
“If it offends the sensibilities, there’s nothing forcing anyone to bring children here," said Salas.
Opponents and supporters of the event recently faced off in a heated protest outside the library.
South Bay Pentecostal had nothing to do with that protest, but early Sunday morning the church was vandalized with graffiti on the walls and the pastor believes it’s because the church has spoken out against Drag Queen Storytime.
The event is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday.