Drag Queen Story Hour in the Upstate has gained national attention. Locally, some people are upset by the cost of security for the event at the Five Forks Library in Simpsonville on Sunday.
According to data provided by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, the law enforcement agency’s expenditures for the event totaled nearly $48,000.
About 700 to 800 people came to the event, according to Lt. Ryan Flood with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.
Flood said the security was a response to multiple threats targeted at the event.
“We had to do everything in our power to ensure that the people who were present or attending the event were safe and secure,” Flood said.
In response to the cost, Greenville County Council members Willis Meadows and Joe Dill are working on an ordinance that would require private entities using private facilities to pay for any extra security their event requires.
“They have the right to speak as they want to speak, and they have the right to do what they did last Sunday…but I don’t think they have the right to spend my money or the other taxpayers money to do it,” Meadows said.
Natalie Shaik, who created the “Mom’s Liberal Happy Hour” Facebook group that hosted the story hour, said she thinks the ordinance would be a violation of people’s First Amendment rights.
“It is not something that was ever going to pass,” Shaik said. “I think it was just there to show us that we need to be put in our spot.”
Meadows said he hopes to put a version of the ordinance before Greenville County Council at their next meeting.