In response to a recent lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Lafayette Public Library officials agreed to lift a ban on library patrons trying to organize the Drag Queen Story Time.
The library has also agreed to not have patrons fill out any forms that would have them agree not to use library areas for anything involving Drag Queen Story Time.
The ACLU’s suit alleged that Aimee Robinson and Matthew Humphrey tried to reserve a room at the library to plan a Drag Queen Story Time event.
They were then asked to sign forms saying that they would not use the room for Drag Queen Story Time events, according to the lawsuit.
“This is welcome news for our clients and everyone in Lafayette who will once again be able to use library facilities without being unfairly interrogated or censored by library official, said Katie Schwartzmann, ACLU of Louisiana legal director.
The event was postponed indefinitely in October after it was moved from the library to the South Louisiana Community College.
Drag Queen Story Time did not happen there due to logistics and safety concerns, according to SLCC.
On Friday, the library released the following statement:
Consistent with the Lafayette Public Library’s continued efforts to abide by the Agreement made with the Court in the pending litigation entitled “Aaron Guidry v. Teresa Elberson, et al,” Case Docket No. 18-CV-01232 in the Western District of Louisiana, counsel for the Library was present in Open Court today for a hearing on a Motion to Intervene filed by the ACLU on behalf of Ms. Robinson and Mr. Humphrey.
Counsel met in chambers to work out proposed language for the Meeting Room Form used by the Library for reservation of meeting rooms which addressed concerns and issues raised by the recent Motion to Intervene, as well as the Library’s commitment to comply with its agreement with the Court. After discussion and consideration, and as per the Library’s prior policies, when a meeting or conference room is not needed for library purposes, meeting and conference rooms may be requested by community-based organizations.
To be approved, all groups must meet LPL’s criteria as defined in the Library Meeting Room Guidelines and Policies. Use of the library’s meeting space will be considered after LPL receives the necessary information from the organization requesting the space, as per the instructions on the Library’s website. In addition, the Library’s Patron Behavior Policy (which can also be found on the Library’s website) will likewise govern any patron or group’s use of the Library’s facilities. Aside from these discussions, the Court advised that it should issue a ruling on the principal lawsuit in the very near future.
In addition, the Court denied the ACLU’s motion to intervene. Please know that Library personnel are making every effort to comply with the policies in place to support LPL’s mission, while taking into consideration the fact that there does remain a pending lawsuit requiring considered thought and actions in compliance with agreements made with the Court to allow the Court time to rule on the issues presently before it; therefore, the public’s continued patience during this rapidly evolving process is greatly appreciated.