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A group of about 50 people stood in the hot sun and protested at the Las Positas College Literary Arts Festival on May 13. 

A majority of the group had gathered to protest one of the Festival’s events, the “Drag Queen Storytime for Kids and Kids at Heart. However, some of the group was performing a counter protest in support of the event. ”

“We don’t feel that children should be exposed to alternative sexual lifestyles,” David Reddy, spokesperson for the Bay Area Against Mandates organization, said. “And drag queen story hour. They should be something for those over 18.”

The drag queen storytime was presented by the drag queens Ava Lashay and Avery Night. Their event was entirely filled out. 

The protesters were peaceful, they did not disrupt the drag queen event and stayed outside the Barbara Mertes building, where the event was taking place.

Many of the protesters had signs with religious statements, quoting bible verses.  A sign had a list of bible verses, Matthew 18:6, Proverbs 3:32-33 and Corinthians 6:9. Reddy said most of the group members but some are atheists. Some of the protesters’ signs included the names and photos of members of the Las Positas College Foundation board. One sign said, “Be what you want but leave kids alone” Another said, “One Nation under god stands. See how we are falling fast.” Several protesters carried the christian flag. 

The counter protesters carried pride flags and signs that condemned hate and calling the protest group “fascist propaganda.” One of the signs read, “Hate has no place at Las Positas.”

Counter protestors stand adjacent to the Bay Area Against Mandates on May 13, outside the 4000 building. (Photo credit: Alan Lewis/The Express).

LPC student Aidan Taylor was part of the counter protest. Taylor said he was at the protest to see how big the protest was. “I wanted to see how big the protest was going to be, and also a benefit to attend the arts festival”. 

Campus Safety was on site but kept a low profile, staying inside the 4000 building. 

“We are an open campus,” stated Chip Woerner, Director of Marketing and Communications at LPC, “so they are free to protest on campus”.

The majority of protesters left after the end of the drag queen storytime. The protesters gave their opinion but did not stop the drag queen storytime.

Alan Lewis is a staff writer for the Express. Follow him @ormond1912.

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