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Butte library cancels transgender speaker on new state law worries



Butte, Montana — Butte-Silver Bow County canceled a public speaker at the Butte library because of the new state law banning drag shows in public venues.

On June 2, 2023, the Butte public library invited Adria Jawort to speak at First Friday.

“It’s the first Friday of every month. It’s an adult brown bag, bring your lunch and listen to something new. She was going to speak on the history of the Two-Spirit People. She is Northern Cheyenne and transgender,” says Butte librarian Shari Curtis.

After consulting with the county attorney’s office, Butte Chief Executive J.P. Gallagher told library officials to cancel the event because it violated House Bill 359, which prohibits minors from attending sexually oriented shows and drag-oriented events at libraries and public schools.

“Because we receive public funding, some of that comes from the state and federal government, we can’t risk a lawsuit or the, you know, the state coming and saying we are not following state law with our public library,” said Gallagher.

The CEO canceled the transgender speaker the same day he declared June PRIDE Month.

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