The Ontario NDP introduced a bill on Tuesday to designate safety zones of 100 meters around venues where drag queens read to kids.
NDP MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam’s private member’s bill goes one step further than a similar bylaw recently passed in Calgary as it would apply to the entire province.
“The topic that brings us here is deadly serious,” said Wong-Tam.
“The rise of hate and violence facing the 2SLGBTQI-plus communities, including the drag artists, happening across Ontario and right (across) the nation has been alarming.”
If passed, the bill would allow the attorney general to create designated safety zones which would prohibit protests from happening within the area. Those found violating the zone could receive a $25,000 fine.
Last month Calgary City Council voted through two administrative suggestions aimed at curbing the protests against drag queen story hours, citing a rise in discrimination against the LGBT community.
“Specifically, the bylaw would prohibit specified protests from taking place within 100 metres of an entrance to a city operated or other designated recreation facility or library during operational hours and an hour before and after,” Katie Black, general manager of community services, told council.
Protests have flared outside of “drag queen story time” events in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada.
In November, demonstrators gathered outside the Terryberry Library in Hamilton to protest a scheduled drag queen story time aimed at “gender variant” children between the ages of 0 to 4.
The Hamilton Public Library promoted the event, which was initially reported by True North, as a “family-friendly” drag queen story hour.
“Hear family-friendly, culturally diverse stories and songs in celebration of families with 2SLGBTQ+ parent(s) and gender-variant children,” the event descriptor claimed.