Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, recently requested a $750,000 earmark for a Buckeye State non-profit group that promoted a “drag queen song and story time” event that was attended by children.
The funding request for Harmony Project Productions, Inc. – a group with a mission to “build a more inclusive society by breaking down social barriers, bridging community divides, and empowering the voices of the people through arts, education, and volunteerism” – came as part of Brown’s spending requests for fiscal year 2024 that were submitted to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.
Titled the Harmony Center Project, the $750,000 request, according to Brown’s office, would be for the group to “renovate a performance, community, shared-office, and programming space that can not only accommodate the organization’s growth, but local community partners who lack adequate space to serve their constituents and clientele.”
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Prior to Brown’s request, the Columbus-based group promoted a “drag queen and story time” event in January to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Moments from the event, which is said to have been put on by Franklin County and was attended by young children, were shared to the group’s Instagram page.
“Dr. King’s vision of the beloved community included all like-minded and like-hearted people who seek to live in a diverse and inclusive society. Central Ohio is home to a range of diverse artists that reflect our inclusive community,” the non-profit captioned a Jan. 16 post to the platform. “Today, as our nation honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we also celebrate the diversity of our Central Ohio arts community. The following are scenes from a drag queen song and story time for the young and young at heart that encourage us to believe in our dreams, together.”
Included in the group’s post was a video showing different portions of the event, where drag queens appeared on stage, performed songs and read books to children.
“You know, Franklin County’s all about being welcoming and drag queen story time needed to happen, needed to be a part of the dreams and the hopes and desires of everybody in the community,” one Franklin County, Ohio, resident said in the clip.
A parent standing alongside her children also echoed that message in the clip and said, “It’s really important for me that they have a model of what it means to respect everybody.”
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An opening message from the group in the video stated that the event was for the “young and young at heart” to encourage others to “believe in our dreams.”
At different points, children were seen in the video playing with one another and snacking prior to the main event. Adults and children were also featured in the video posing with the drag queens prior to the story readings, as well as engaging in other activities at the event like coloring.
One of the drag queens, Ava Aurora Foxx, said in the video that the queens were there “to share our love and our beliefs.”
“To be able to just to read to kids and to read to adults and for them not to look at us with discrimination and just know that we’re here for one purpose and one purpose only, which is to share our love and our beliefs and to show our individuality – that was the most amazing part of today,” Foxx said.
Several parents and adults from around the country have voiced opposition to the idea of having children attend performances or story time hours with drag queens, arguing that it should be age restricted.
Earlier this week, a video showing a California mayor being spanked with a paddle by a drag queen surfaced online. The video depicts Burbank Mayor Konstantine Anthony bent over a table people sat at as a drag queen whacked him with a paddle.
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Brown – one of a handful of Democrats in the Senate who is facing a tough re-election battle in 2024 as Republicans seek to regain control – announced last November that he would seek a fourth term in the upper chamber.
Several Republicans have already lined up to challenge Brown, including former prosecutor and Republican state lawmaker Matt Dolan, businessman and former Senate candidate Bernie Moreno, and Ohio Secretary of State Frank Larose.
In a comment to Fox News Digital, the Harmony Project made clear that the event attended by drag queens was put on by Franklin County.
Brown’s office immediately responded to Fox News Digital requests for comment.