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The Jacksonville Public Library in Florida was planning to hold a “Pride Prom” this Friday night. After the building was closed, students 14-18 could come to the free event dressed as their favorite book character and have a good time without having to worry about being judged or stared at by their unaccepting or ignorant high school classmates. It was going to be a lovely event.

That is, until conservative Christians heard about it.

Egged on by bigots like “Activist Mommy” Elizabeth Johnston, who delight in watching LGBTQ people suffer, hundreds of Christians called the library to complain about the event. There were rumors of protests scheduled outside the building — and then “anti-protests” in response. A library staffer said that one event participant received a death threat.

Part of what fueled the complaints was Johnston posting images of the evening’s entertainment — drag performer Bebe Deluxe — from paid adult events. It was suggested that someone who performs for adults would somehow be doing the same things for teens. (That’s obviously a lie.)

That was Friday. By Monday, the library decided the event had to be canceled because staff members weren’t 100% confident they could “provide a safe, secure environment” for everyone involved.

That was the case even though JASMYN, the non-profit group sponsoring the event, had hired security from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Bebe Deluxe — a.k.a. Beatrice Palmer — thinks the security excuse is just a cover for the real issue.

“You know how to keep 100 people in your library safe,” Palmer said. “It is possible to keep 100 kids safe in a library. But when it’s gay children, it becomes a problem.

As much as I want to believe the library is the problem here — and Palmer insists that’s the case — I’m willing to take their excuse at face value, since it wouldn’t be the first time the Bible-fueled drama surrounding an event like this became too overwhelming for staffers. The library had no problem with this event until Christians staged an over-the-top, organized hissy fit. (Still, if there was a fundraiser to hire more security, I have no doubt people would’ve chipped in to cover it.)

Ultimately, faith-based bigots managed to stop a perfectly fine event for students who don’t always get the chance to be excited about a dance. Those Christians cruelly hurt LGBTQ people, all in the name of Jesus.

Johnston, whose heart grows three sizes every time a gay child cries, celebrated the decision with her fans by proclaiming “Innocent kids are being protected because of you.” She also spread a lie about how this event was all about promoting “perverted sodomy sex.”

It was a dance. That’s it. I assure you that what straight kids do at a public school’s prom is far more sexual that whatever anyone was going to do during the library’s event.

But the facts don’t matter to these Christian haters. They believe they’re saviors of the world when the truth is that everyone else needs protection from them.

Some villains take candies from babies. These Christians take happiness and hope away from LGBTQ teens.

Cruelty is their faith. Jesus is nowhere to be found.

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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