The city of Bloomington is hosting a pride event with drag performances, saying that the event is for all ages. A local group has called out the city for spending taxpayer money on drag performances, saying that is not an appropriate use of money. The Bloomington Patriots Facebook page has questioned the city for participating in “sexually grooming little children.” Human Rights Commissioner Anita Smithson called its concerns about the event “homophobic.”

An event poster advertises the event will have food, comedy, drag performances, music, and resources and states, “All ages welcome!”

Bloomington Patriots looked into some of the drag queens that will be performing at the festival and shared some photos and information.

In a Facebook post, the group said, “We looked into the Drag Queens that the City of Bloomington listed on their website and thought the taxpayers of Bloomington and Hennepin County would like to know what strippers will be performing for their children!”

The Bloomington Patriots also questioned why the city was sponsoring the pride event but did not come to or support the Back the Blue Rally held last week. As reported by The Minnesota Sun, Smithson, who is one of the organizers of the Bloomington Pride festival, called the Back the Blue Rally “fascist.”

The Bloomington Patriots claimed that Smithson was actually violating human rights. Becky Strohmeier, the president of Bloomington Patriots said, “As a human rights commissioner, it is her job to ensure that everyone has a voice. That we all have the right to think, speak and assemble freely. Calling us fascists and white supremacists for supporting our police is completely out of line for a human rights commissioner. If she were just a private citizen it would be different, but she is supposed to be defending the rights of Bloomington residents, not trying to stifle them.”

The Bloomington Patriots alleged that Smithson’s opposition of its opinion regarding the pride festival was another example of her not understanding human rights. In a post, it wrote, “It’s not ‘Anti-Gay Hate Speech’ to express concerns about sexually inappropriate Drag Queens to be performing for our children at a City sponsored event.”

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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]