The Lafayette Public Library on Thursday was forced to postpone the controversial "Drag Queen Story Time" event after South Louisiana Community College withdrew its offer to serve as host.
Library officials said in a news release they are committed to rescheduling the event, which they said was "conceived as a children’s program to share stories about tolerance and individuality."
The event is to feature male University of Louisiana-Lafayette students dressed as women reading books to children ages 3 to 6. Library staff would select books deemed age appropriate. The plans have sparked arguments among local officials and the citizenry at large over the last two months, since the library advertised it in a monthly newsletter.
"With the loss of the host site, the library is forced to postpone the program until a new venue can be secured," the news release issued by the library on Thursday states. "While this is a temporary setback, the Lafayette Public Library confirms that it is not permanently cancelling the program."
The release also states: "The library administration and its Board of Control firmly believe in carrying out its mission to serve a diverse community. In addition, many families have stood in support of this program which promotes respect and inclusiveness."
The library originally intended to hold the event at its downtown branch location, but the venue was switched last month because it was expected to draw crowds "which could not be accommodated by the library," according to the news release.
The college offered its facilities, and a security plan was worked out with the Lafayette Police Department and the college's security force, according to the library.
But the college announced Thursday that plans for large protests, as conveyed by law enforcement authorities, were beyond its ability to manage.
The college says its maximum capacity for the event is 300 people and noted that more than 1600 individuals have signed petitions about the event, according to a KATC report.
State policy forbids the college from expanding its security force for the event, since the college might incur costs as a result, according to the college.
KATC-TV contributed to this article.