Alberta Premier Danielle Smith refused to condemn drag-queen story hour protesters after being asked during oral question period in the Legislature.
NDP MLA Janis Irwin told Smith that an annual drag show “had to” cancel to avoid protesters who, the previous year, “chose to harass children and families and spew hate against fabulous Alberta drag queens.”
“Will the Premier join me in condemning these acts of bigotry?” Irwin asked.
Smith said she respects the right to peaceful protests, and she also respects the drag-queen story events as long as they’re “age appropriate.”
“Any event where children are present should be age appropriate,” Smith said.
“My understanding of the reading time events like the one in Calgary is that they are kept age appropriate, and minors attending them have the consent of their parents.”
Smith further said that she respects the right to peaceful protesters who follow the law.
Numerous videos exist online where drag queens can be seen dancing or performing provocatively in front of children. However, most of the videos come from the US.
The cultural clash seems to have escalated between trans-rights activists on the one side, and women’s and children’s rights on the other.
Last week, just days after Calgary Mayor Gondek called for Drag-Queen Story Hour protesters to be fined for “hatred,” they were attacked while peacefully protesting in front of city hall.
Subsequently, Calgary’s Mayor Gondek pushed a new “Safe and Inclusive Access Bylaw” that was quickly passed, effectively banning the drag-queen story hour protesters from protesting within 100 meters of the events.
The bylaw called to fine “specified” protesters who “intimidate,” which was a reference to drag-queen story hour protesters.
Calgary city council voted in favour of a bylaw proposal that now makes it illegal to protest drag queen story hour or related events when inside 100 meters.
Protesters in violation of this bylaw are now liable to pay a $10,000 fine and can be sentenced to prison for one year.