NSW Liberal Councillor Jerome Cox Introduces Motion To Shut Down Drag Story Time Events

NSW Liberal Councillor Jerome Cox Introduces Motion To Shut Down Drag Story Time Events
Image: Hill Shire Councillor Jerome Cox with the late Cardinal George Pell. Image: Facebook

Liberal Councillor Jeremy Cox from the Hill Shire Council in the Greater Sydney region has introduced a motion that seeks to ban the council from hosting or facilitating drag story time events. 

Cox’s motion is scheduled to be taken up for discussion on Tuesday evening. LGBTQI activists and Pride in protest have called on community members to attend the council meeting with Pride flags to show their opposition to the motion.

Over the past couple of years, conservative and far-right figures have targeted drag story time events in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. 

Shut Down Drag Story Time Events

Cox, a Liberal Councillor has called on the Hill Shire Councillors to reject motions supporting drag story time proposed by the City of Sydney and Inner West Councils that was passed at the Local Government NSW Annual conference in 2023. 

In his motion, Cox asked the council to “reject any encouragement or facilitation from LGNSW or any other Group, for the Council to host Drag or sexualised material designed to target children”.

On his Facebook profile, Cox has photos of him with the controversial late Cardinal George Pell and opposing the marriage equality national vote in 2017.

The 2023 LG NSW motions supported drag story time events in council facilities. The motion had called on councils to not give in to far-right intimidation tactics and find “community-driven safety solutions to ensure that drag story time and similar events can take place at council facilities safely for performers and attendees. 

Cox has proposed that the Council withdraw its support for the 2023 motion and express concern that it was permitted on the agenda. 

‘Ignorant And Harmful Claims’

Greens Councillor Dr Mila Kasby termed Cox’s motion as “ignorant” and “harmful”. 

“It’s distressing that some councillors have been misled by misinformation that Drag story time is sexualised,” Kasby said in a statement. 

“This argument is ignorant, harmful and a proxy attack on the trans and queer community. Council should be acting to foster acceptance and inclusivity for all people,” said the Greens councillor. 

According to Pride in Protest spokesperson Esther Niamh, the motion sought to air far-right conspiracies. 

“This is a disgusting repeat of far-right conspiracies, as we saw last year with the Nazi groups who targeted drag story time. Our communities should be united in opposing bigotry, and offering genuine education and care for young people of all genders and sexualities,” said Niamh.

Drag Performer Zephyr said that the repeated attacks targeting the community were frustrating. “As both a drag artist and someone who works with kids, it’s extremely frustrating to see the attacks on drag story time when these individuals clearly know nothing about it,” Zephyr said in a statement.

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