Katie Schwartzmann
Katie Schwartzmann,
Legal Director – ACLU of

In an out-of-court settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, the Lafayette library has — once again — agreed to allow the library to be used for Drag Queen Story Hour.

Meanwhile, there is still an open federal case in the Western District of Louisiana choreographed by Chris Sevier (who is disbarred) against the library. It is utterly frivolous and, frankly, insane. The last docket entry, from Friday, was: AMICI BRIEF Defending Reparative Therapy by Coalition of Doctors Defending Reparative Therapy. 

A federal judge has permitted this case to drift into the Twilight Zone. (There are now 138 entries on the docket.)

Meanwhile, mischief in Michigan:

In Hunting Woods, Michigan, MassResistance, an anti-LGBT hate group, has teamed up with the ever-nutty Rich Penkoski and his Warriors for Christ to oppose the local library’s offering of Drag Queen Story Hour.

Their plan has backfired:

According to local media:

More than 100 tickets for the limited seating at the Jan. 26 story time have already been sold.

“I believe (the protests) have made the program more popular,” said City Commissioner Joe Rozell, adding the event is sold out. “Our public safety department is working on a plan to make sure protesters don’t interfere in any way with folks’ ability to use the library or attend the story time.”

The haters have a persistent, and nonsensical, agenda:

  • Neither MassResistance nor Penkoski are local residents.
  • Their disapproval is based on confusing drag queens with transgender people.
  • They are not satisfied with the fact that parents can choose not to be part of the event. They want to prevent anyone from attending, regardless of their point of view.

Drag Queen Story Hour offers two very important lessons for children. It teaches kids that being different is not bad. It also teaches children the value of books and the value of libraries as a resource. Leave it to the profoundly irrational people from MassResistance and an idiotic fundamentalist like Rich Penkoski to find something evil in that.

That story in local media also claimed that Penkoski moved from West Virginia to Tennessee. After an email from me that was removed. It demonstrates the presence of Penkoski’s unlicensed (and crazy) legal advisor, Chris Sevier, in this manufactured controversy.

On a related topic, I received an email from Mars, Inc. regarding Penkoski. On Thursday Penkoski claimed on LinkedIn to be a contract recruiter for the company. On Friday, he erased all references to Mars. Mars is thoroughly investigating this relationship, past or present. I expect to hear from them later in the week. The Human Rights Campaign scores Mars Inc. at 90 out of 100 in the Corporate Equality Index.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.