Douglas Ross has branded an event featuring a drag queen reading stories to children in an effort to promote “inclusion, diversity and acceptance” as “totally inappropriate”.
The Scottish Conservatives leader said he had “raised” an issue with Moray Council after the local authority announced “Drag Queen Story Hour” featuring a performer known as “Miss Lossie Mouth” at Elgin Library this weekend.
The performance, which is aimed at youngsters aged up to six, is designed to “break down barriers” during Pride month and encourage children to “develop a love of reading” through a variety of stories.
But Ross – who is also the area’s MP and MSP – objected to the event, stating the council should use “common sense” and cancel the reading.
“It’s totally inappropriate to hold a show like this for kids under the age of six,” he wrote.
“Story time for babies and young kids shouldn’t focus on gender or sexual identity.
“That is common sense and on behalf of constituents who’ve contacted me, I’ve raised this with the council.”
Miss Lossie Mouth, also known as John Campbell, is a teacher, according to an advert for the event posted online.
Among the titles being read is ‘And Tango Makes Three,’ a children’s book about two male penguins who raise a female chick – based on a the true story of a pair of the flightless birds at New York’s Central Park Zoo who formed a pair bond.
“As a teacher myself I appreciate the way to instil a love of reading from an early age is to make it fun,” Miss Lossie Mouth said.
“That’s exactly what Drag Queen story time does with an engaging hour of colourful, joyous stories.”
Moray Council’s principal librarian, David Hayden, said he was excited about the event during Pride, adding it would help “get youngsters into libraries”.
He said: “Having Miss Lossie Mouth taking part in story time for our young readers is a great way to promote equality, diversity and inclusion.
“We’re breaking down barriers in so many ways with this initiative – getting our youngsters into libraries, encouraging confidence to be themselves and promoting acceptance. I know a number of wee ones who will be very excited to get to the library to make some noise and join in the fun.”