ORLANDO, Fla. — The Center Orlando has canceled a Drag Queen Story Hour for children after receiving online threats from hate groups.
The event was scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 29.
Drag Queen Story Hour uses the art of drag to read books to kids in libraries, schools and bookstores.
The Center told Channel 9 that it takes threats seriously and called off the event to protect the children.
Drag Queen Story Hour is not something new; the event happens not only here in Orlando, but all over the country.
The event has now gotten the attention of hate groups across the country.
This past summer a similar event was crashed by the right-wing extremist group The Proud Boys in California.
They were successful in scaring people, but not successful in their ultimate goal to end the event.
However, it’s because of situations like this that The Center has canceled their event for this weekend.
The Center Orlando wrote on Facebook,
“We have the support of so many in our community including law enforcement, but as much as we would like to continue this fun-loving, innocent event, we feel that the safety of our community is our number one concern. Thank you for your understanding that we live in challenging times right now, and we don’t want to expose or endanger innocent children to hate, bigotry or violence.”
State Rep. Anna Eskamani took to social media and stated that she is disgusted by these threats, and said the groups that planned the protest include the neo-Nazi group National Socialist Movement.
In January 2022, more than a dozen individuals associated with this network participated in a neo-Nazi demonstration in Orlando, during which several of the attendees harassed a Jewish man who stopped to confront the group.
Then in February, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office arrested and charged three people for their alleged roles in the hate crime assault.
Even though the event was canceled, Orlando police say they are aware of the online chatter and tell us at the request of the business, they will be maintaining a presence in the area.
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