A South Carolina library event called the "Drag Queen Story Hour" has sparked controversy in the local community, leading to a petition with the hopes of shutting it down.
The petition was launched on Change.org with the goal of attracting 1,500 signatures. It had nearly 1,300 as of Wednesday afternoon.
"Public [libraries] have become a breeding ground for 'Drag Queen Story Time' all over the Country," the petition reads. "This small percentage of the population has found a legal loop hole to ensure they push their alternative [lifestyles] on our communities.
"Drag Queens, used to be something adults saw in a comedy club or late night HBO specials. Do you want your children exposed to this?"
The petition was launched after it was announced that a "Drag Queen Story Hour" would take place at the Five Forks branch of the Greenville County Library system in February.
A Facebook post detailing the event said it was being held by Mom’s Liberal Happy Hour South Carolina and that it would include "an afternoon of fabulous queens, inspiring books, and fellowship with your amazing friends and neighbors." It also said that "four lovely ladies" would do readings for children during the event.
The State reported that similar events have taken place in libraries around the U.S.
Organizers added that the story hour was designed to give children "early exposure to all the different kinds of beautiful people in the world." More than 200 people have said they were planning on attending on Facebook.
Others, however, have voiced concerns about the event. Julianna Watson, who has two children, told a local CBS affiliate that she wouldn't feel comfortable taking her children.
“There is a sexual side to drag queens, to what they’re trying to teach, and I just think any type of conversation like that… drag queens or not is inappropriate for this age,” Watson said.
Jimmy Wooten, a community manager at the the Greenville County Library System, told Fox Carolina that the library has received "a mixture of questions, complaints, and positive comments from the public about a drag queen story hour."
He said the event was taking place in accordance with the library's policy.
The American Library Association has voiced support for the "Drag Queen Story Hour," and has provided details for how local libraries can respond to questions from the community about the event.