An event scheduled for this coming Saturday at the Johnson Center for Community Arts and Education was brought to an abrupt halt this afternoon after concerned citizens raised their voices against the cancerous evils that are creeping into far too many communities. Just days ago it came to the attention of a few Cedar City citizens that the Johnson Center was hosting a Drag Paint Day. This event was to be an artist led painting session accompanied by a drag show, and was marketed as a family friendly event open to all. “Family Friendly” drag shows are popping up throughout the state of Utah, as you can see here:
Clearly, drag shows are anything but family friendly, and the citizens of Cedar City were not about to turn a blind on this twisted form of entertainment. A call went out Wednesday morning to a group of about 25 people informing them of the upcoming drag event and asking that they take time out of their busy schedules to attend city council that evening to ask the city to halt funds going to the Johnson Center if they are going to be the means of bringing this poison into their community. The Johnson Center receives funding from the Utah Division of Arts and Museums as well as Cedar City Corporation. Funding comes through the city’s RAP TAX
Holding drag events in a tax payer funded venue is highly inappropriate and a large number of citizens in Cedar City lifted their voices to let city officials and the Johnson Center know they would not stand idly by while immoral events are being held in a facility funded in part by their hard earned money.
The rally call to just a few Wednesday morning spread like wild fire and the Johnson Center was flooded with phone calls throughout the morning. Elder Jeff Disney from the Sonrise Christian Church was alerted by members of his congregation, and he in turn rallied other Christin denominations to jump into action. The Johnson Center was so overwhelmed with disapproving phone calls, and knowledge of citizens approaching the city that evening, that they arranged to send representatives of their own to city council that night. Sometime between 2:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon, Sheriff Ken Carpenter became involved and at that point the Johnson Center made the decision to stall Saturday’s event. It has not been verified what exactly was said by Carpenter at this time.
Several from the community decided to still attend city council and Eric Leavitt and Bruce Johnson were the representatives from the Johnson Center present at the meeting and were given the first chance to speak during public comment. They stated that SUU LGBT students requested to hold their event at the Johnson Center and that they had vetted the event and found it to stay within community standards. They attempted to sugar coat what was meant by the term “drag” and compared it to people dressing up for Comic Con. Leavitt and Johnson admitted that the center found nothing objective in the content that was to be presented at the drag show and made it very clear that they intend to remarket the event in a way that will be more palatable to the community- meaning same content, only not disclosing the details this time around to the community. The fight is clearly not over, but a large victory was won Wednesday because good men and women in Cedar City didn’t remain silent. There is power in standing for what is right. God is always on the side of righteousness!
*please reach out to Cedar City council on this matter and demand the loss of public funding to any tax funded entity that promotes or hosts events that are not aligned with common moral values.