(NewsNation) — A New York City councilman has been offered official protection after his apartment was vandalized by anti-LGBTQ protesters because he attended a Drag Story Hour at the NYC Public Library.
“They want us to be intimidated. They want us to go into hiding, not just me, but the families or trying to take their kids to this program that is a totally innocent program that they want for their families,” Councilman Eric Bottcher told NewsNation.
Protesters first showed up at the library’s story hour, shouting expletives and holding signs accusing the program of grooming kids, while counter protesters prevented them from disrupting the event.
Bottcher, who is openly gay, went to the story hour to show support. He said it is a completely appropriate activity for kids and families.
“It was my first time attending it. It was a book reading, like many many other book readings, I’ve been to a storytime. But you just had a colorful character reading the story. And the kids liked it and no one’s being hurt by it,” he said.
Drag events around the country have been targeted by protesters. The protesters who went to Bottcher’s home also vandalized his office, leaving messages referring to him as a “predator” and “groomer.” Two women were arrested inside Bottcher’s apartment building in relation to the protests.
Bottcher defended the story hour program, a completely optional event.
“But here’s the best part, if you don’t like the program, you don’t have to go to it. You don’t have to take your family to it,” he told the protesters.
Bottcher said while some stories focus on diversity, the books at the story hour he attended were the same standard children’s books his niece and nephews read.
It’s not clear if the protesters were part of any organized group, and none have given any statements to the media regarding the protests or vandalism
Watch the full interview in the player above.