Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio took to Twitter to gloat after shaming an Air Force base into canceling its drag queen story hour.
Rubio said it was "good" the Air Force had canceled the event, which would have featured a drag queen reading stories to young children, after he wrote a letter to them expressing his outrage.
You can read his tweet here:
\u201cGood that the @usairforce cancelled a drag queen story hour for children after my letter to them\n\n https://t.co/0TAYJqUzso\u201d— Marco Rubio (@Marco Rubio) 1653994927
Last month, the command staff of the 86th Airlift Wing on Ramstein Air Base in Germany announced it had canceled a drag queen story hour scheduled for the base’s library in honor of Pride Month.
The event would have featured enlisted drag queens.
The base released the following statement:
“An advertisement was posted to the base library social media page before the event had completed Ramstein’s established processes for special observance coordination and approval."
"The advertisement has been removed and the event will not take place.”
“Ramstein leaders strive to foster a culture based on inclusion where all people are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their political views, the color of their skin, or sexual orientation."
"The base’s established processes will ensure all future special observance events are properly reviewed and approved prior to advertisement.”
Rubio later issued a press release taking credit for the decision to cancel the event, revealing he'd written a strongly-worded letter in which he suggested drag queens reading children’s books constitutes exposing children to “sexually charged content."
The press release read:
“The last thing parents serving their nation overseas should be worried about, particularly in a theater with heightened geopolitical tensions, is whether their children are being exposed to sexually charged content simply because they visited their local library."
Many have criticized Rubio instead of the praise he was seeking.
\u201cHe will celebrate canceling drag queens at story hour but not high powered weapons in schools. \n\nVOTE HIM OUT.\u201d— \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 GET VACCINATED. \u2764\ufe0f\ud83e\udde1\ud83d\udc9b\ud83d\udc9a\ud83d\udc99\ud83d\udc9c (@\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 GET VACCINATED. \u2764\ufe0f\ud83e\udde1\ud83d\udc9b\ud83d\udc9a\ud83d\udc99\ud83d\udc9c) 1654133318
\u201c19 kids got brutally shot last week & this what a sitting Senator has been doing.\u201d— Elizabeth (@Elizabeth) 1654018201
\u201cJesus really? That's your focus in office?\u201d— Mike is a Nole in DC (@Mike is a Nole in DC) 1654022526
\u201cSenator @marcorubio, you took the time to write a letter to stop a story hour event simply because it was hosted by drag queens, but when it comes to writing policy to end gun violence in schools & around the nation, you are completely silent. #shameful \nhttps://t.co/16DsineCdd\u201d— Allen Ellison Democrat for US Senate Florida (@Allen Ellison Democrat for US Senate Florida) 1654125523
\u201cThis guy is the worst. Not only is he a useless politician, he's actively awful ever chance he gets.\u201d— \u26a1Kristen\u26a1 (@\u26a1Kristen\u26a1) 1654125830
\u201cMarco Rubio can't take a stand on gun control legislation but goes crazy about drag queen story hour\u201d— Holy Bullies (@Holy Bullies) 1654127058
\u201c@marcorubio will jump at the chance to protect children from information, love, and people celebrating who they are. From getting shot? Not so much. This is a fellow who needs to be dragged.\u201d— Jeff Roush (@Jeff Roush) 1654130452
\u201cYeah, but actually doing something that would protect kids, like, banning assault weapons is a bridge too far!!!! #LGBT #GOPHates #Bigotry \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\u26a7\ufe0f\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\u26a7\ufe0f\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08\u201d— Ken Warnock (@Ken Warnock) 1654130869
Rubio's letter and his subsequent gloating are an example of how LGBTQ+ issues have efcently galvanized the far right, taking a spot at the forefront of attacks conservatives have directed toward the LGBTQ+ community in what has become one of the more defining elements of the culture wars.
In recent months, Republicans across the country have sponsored a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, much of it directed at transgender people.
Drag queen story hours have received considerable pusback nationwide from conservatives who have alleged that they are an opportunity to "indoctrinate" children into the LGBTQ+ community rather than an opportunity to impart values of inclusivity and acceptance.
"Violent threats" recently prompted one North Carolina town to cancel a scheduled drag queen story hour during Pride Month festivities.