The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana today filed a lawsuit challenging the Lafayette Public Library’s ban on Drag Queen Story Time, an educational program designed to encourage tolerance and combat gender stereotypes.
The lawsuit, brought by two Lafayette Parish residents who wish to organize a Drag Queen Story Time at the library, asserts that the ban violates the First Amendment and infringes on their constitutionally-protected right to free speech.
As part of a lawsuit filed by a group called “Warriors for Christ,” the Lafayette Public Library began requiring anyone seeking to use the library meeting room to sign a form disavowing any affiliation with Drag Queen Story Time and pledging not to use the space for that purpose. The form requires users to certify that “the purpose of your use of the Lafayette Public Library’s meeting room does not pertain in any way to ‘Drag Queen Story Hour,’ directly or indirectly.” The form also threatens residents that they may be sued if they use the library for that purpose.
Arguing that the library’s policy constitutes targeted, viewpoint-based discrimination on in violation of the First Amendment, the lawsuit asks the court to declare the ban unconstitutional and enjoin the Lafayette Public Library from enforcing it.