Butte-Silver Bow County cancels transgender speaker at library over concerns of violating new state law

Adria Jawort, who is Northern Cheyenne and transgender, was scheduled to speak about the history of the Two-Spirit People.
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Posted at 5:37 PM, Jun 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-02 11:59:18-04

BUTTE — Butte-Silver Bow County canceled a public speaker at the Butte library out of concern that the event violates the new state law prohibiting drag show presentations in public buildings.

The Butte public library had invited Adria Jawort to speak at the First Friday event on June 2.

"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.

Butte Chief Executive J.P. Gallagher said after conferring with the county attorney’s office that he contacted library officials and told them to cancel the event out of concern that it violates 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 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.

Coincidentally the chief executive’s decision to cancel the transgender speaker comes on the same day as he issued a proclamation recognizing June as PRIDE Month.