Hoboken holds drag queen story hour despite calls to ban controversial reading

ByJohny Fernandez WABC logo
Saturday, June 17, 2023
Hoboken holds drag queen story hour despite calls to ban controversial reading
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Drag queens read to children on Saturday morning at a public library in Hoboken despite calls to ban the controversial reading. Johny Fernandez has more.

HOBOKEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- Drag queens read to children on Saturday morning at a public library in Hoboken despite calls to ban the controversial reading.

Whether it was a sticker, a book or a flag - Pride was on full display at Church Square Park.

"This country is all about free speech and freedom. You should be able to do what you want to do as long as you stay within the law, I don't think this event should be a controversy," said Hoboken resident Sachin Ranade.

For Ranade, he came to the park for the annual Book Ban Readathon, an event put on by the city to celebrate Pride, the LGBTQ+ community, and banned books. It kicked off with a drag queen story hour.

The event caused controversy online and many residents like Rachel say they disagree with the event.

"This is a public park, I just feel that we need to be more respectful to the fact that our children need to play. They don't need to learn about sexuality at this young age," Rachel said.

Hoboken Mayor Rhavi Bhalla also spoke out about the controversy - he believes the event is a representation of the city's acceptance towards all residents, and was misrepresented online.

"There is false information being spread on social media, including graphic images and graphic content. None of that is being shown over here, but I agree with parents about the right to educate their children in an age-appropriate matter in a way they see fit," Bhalla said.

As the morning went on, special guests hit the stage to read banned books.

"We're here to raise awareness of this national-wide surge in censorship, because we don't stand for that. I invite anyone who wants to come, to come. Everything we read is age-appropriate," said Library Director Jennie Pu.

The decision of who's right and who's wrong will be a question no one can find in a book.

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