Texas grocery store chain H-E-B is sponsoring a block party hosted by an LGBTQ+ pride group that is advertising activities for kids.
Temple Pride — an LGBTQ+ group in Temple, Texas — is throwing a block party on May 27 that will feature food, activities, vendors, live music, and a “kid zone” with “free activities.”
The event will include a drag show at Mo’s Rail Yard Saloon, but the drag performance is said to be limited to attendees at least 21 years of age.
However, opponents argue that children should not be involved in any capacity with Pride events.
“LGBTQ pride events are inherently sexual and should never be open for children to attend,” Kelly Neidert, executive director of Protect Texas Kids, told The Dallas Express.
“It is disturbing that the Temple Pride block party has a designated ‘kid zone’ and appears to be heavily marketed towards children,” she continued.
Neidert is not the only one to accuse Temple Pride of targeting children in the block party’s advertising.
“This event is specifically marketed to children,” said Texas Family Project Policy Director Austin Griesinger, per Texas Scorecard. “Everything on the poster is for children.”
“Why does the left insist on the sexualization of kids?” he continued. “This isn’t about a lifestyle; it’s about the sexualization of minors, and it is abhorrent.”
Temple Pride denies these accusations.
Vice President Derek Bryant told The Dallas Express that the block party is “for the whole community [but] is not specifically marketed towards children in particular.”
“The only difference between our event and the many other downtown events in our town is that Temple Pride is sponsoring it,” he argued. “The drag show is 21 and up and takes place as a separate event and is advertised as such.”
Bryant told The Dallas Express that the “kid zone” includes an “art bus for all ages” with Temple Pride “providing bubbles and chalk.”
“And we [are] having one of the grandmothers read a story,” he said. “That’s all there is to it.”
In addition to H-E-B, the event is being sponsored by the following companies:
- Revolution Birth Services
- Under My Skin
- Treno Pizzeria & Taproom
- Vida Salon
- Candy & More
- Peggy’s Coffee House
- Alter Salon
The block party is also supported by The Vine Church, which describes itself as “an open and affirming Christian community.”
H-E-B, owned by the Butt family with Charles Butt serving as chairman and CEO, has reportedly sponsored other LGBTQ+ events and is an alleged funder of the Austin-based organization OutYouth, which provides LGBTQ+ “counseling” for children as young as 5 years old.
Butt has previously donated to Democrat political candidates and lobbied for the expansion of mail-in voting. In January, H-E-B faced backlash after organizers for an event hosting Kyle Rittenhouse claimed the company pressured the venue to cancel the event, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
The Dallas Express reached out to H-E-B for additional information or comment on its sponsorship of the Temple Pride event but received no response by the publication deadline.