Above: A drag queen story hour in Los Angeles.
Conservative lawmakers in Missouri are taking a stand against... *checks notes* men in wigs reading to kids?
State Rep. Ben Baker, a Republican, has put forward a bill aimed at drag queen story hours at public libraries, NBC Out reports. If passed, Baker's Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act would require all Missouri public libraries to create advisory boards that would approve all displays and events, ensuring there are no "age-inappropriate sexual materials" available.
Librarians who don't abide by the advisory boards' decisions would be committing a misdemeanor—and subject to a $500 fine or a year in prison.
Speaking to NBC Out, Baker explained that the bill isn't designed to censor books or library materials. It's specifically targeted toward drag queen story hours, which are exactly what they sound like: read-alouds to children from drag queens. That happen at libraries and other public event spaces nationwide. You know, super dangerous stuff.
"They've had these drag queen story hours, and that's something that I take objection to and I think a lot of parents do," Baker told the news outlet. "That's where in a public space, our kids could be exposed to something that’s age-inappropriate. That’s what I’m trying to tackle.
Baker isn't the first Southern conservative to shake an angry fist at drag queens reading to children. In March 2019, Drag Queen Story Time in Houston, Texas, was postponed indefinitely after angry parents ganged up on the queen who hosted it.
Missouri, of course, has some of the country's most stringent anti-abortion laws on the books. The state also has zero nondiscrimination protections in place for LGBTQ Missourians, meaning queer residents can lawfully be fired, evicted, or kicked out of public accommodations because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
But sure, focus those legislative powers on men in wigs educating the children.