SHELBY, N.C. — An event held inside a public library in Shelby prompted outrage among some residents this week, and they took their anger straight to a county commission meeting about funding for the library.
The outrage and insults were abundant Tuesday night after a Pride Month-themed crafting event.
“LGBQXYZ alphabet people,” shouted Marge Hooper during Tuesday night’s Cleveland County Commissioners meeting.
“We are now celebrating this perverted lifestyle in a public place?” said Guy Smith, another speaker at the meeting.
David Marshall, the president of Shelby Pride, was there for a Pride event at the public library and the commissioners meeting minutes afterward. He says what happened at the library was an overreaction.
“[They’re] creating a boogeyman or something that’s just not there,” Marshall said.
He said the library was hosting a crafting event with a Pride theme and that everything was fine until opponents forced their way in.
“They started screaming bible verses and caused almost like a protest,” he said.
Marshall said that the claims they were sexualizing the children who attended are false.
“It’s exhausting to have to constantly justify your existence or to constantly have to say I am an American. I am just like you,” Marshall said.
Smith said he was in the library too, and he expressed his thoughts before the commissioners.
“Our county is using our taxpayer dollars to promote debauchery and unnatural sex acts against God,” Smith said. “I just think we need to be protecting the children.”
Smith said he doesn’t want the 15-or-so children who were at the event exposed to the LGBTQ lifestyle. He said he’s not in favor of defunding the library, but he questioned if they should be having Pride themed events at the library.
At the end of the meeting, the county commissioners passed a budget that included full funding for the library.
Smith says he will press them to drop the Pride Month event next year.
Organizers say they’re planning another Pride event soon in Cleveland County, but they’re not announcing details so they can try to prevent disruptions.
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