HUNTINGTON WOODS, Mich. (FOX 2) - Things became tense at Huntington Woods city meeting as some call for an end to the library's popular reading series Drag Queen Story Time.
A California group called Mass Resistance has called for an end to Huntington Woods Library's reading series where drag performers read to kids. There were so many people planning to come to the city commission meeting on Tuesday that Huntington Woods had to change the venue from city hall to the rec center -- itt was standing room only.
Critics, like Terry Trombley, want the year-old series to end.
"This function is an enshrinement of gender dysphoria, which is a duly defined mental illness," she said during the meeting.
Others showed up in droves to support it.
"The group's reasoning and logic for opposing this program again is nothing but transphobic, fear-mongering, built up on lies and falsehoods," said local resident Angie Povilaitis.
Divine grew up in Huntington Woods and is often featured in the reading hours.
"This program is not just about reading a story, it's giving children the voice that they need," said Raven Divine. "I was honored to meet a 9-year-old trans girl, who had never met anybody else like her. It was tears in her mother's eyes and it wasn't of sorrow, it was of joy."
The program has been a hit in Huntington Woods, attracting scores of kids, but drawing the ire of some residents.
"There are two sides to this and because my view is different than others, I feel that I also have a right to express it," said Huntington Woods resident Veronia Nantais.
Mass Resistance has come out hard against the program and mobilized others to follow suit. It's a self-described pro-family activist group but the Southern Poverty Law Center calls it a hate group
Its ally on the city commission, Allison Iversen, was a no-show Tuesday, resigning before the meeting. That did not sit well with residents and supporters of the drag queen reading hour.
"She needed to hear what we had to say and her absence here tonight is cowardly and reprehensible," said resident Danielle Maguire.
FOX 2 reached out to Iverson with no response. She was already set to retire as she is moving to another town. The city has no plans to cut the program, saying it is popular and will likely grow in popularity.