The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library System announced Wednesday evening that the Madison Public Library had reversed course and would once again permit actor Kirk Cameron and women’s sports advocate Riley Gaines to headline a Moms for Liberty book reading event.
The Madison Public Library abruptly canceled the event earlier in the day after the scope of its attendees quickly grew from approximately 30 to 300, citing security and capacity concerns. But after facing backlash and a letter from the First Liberty Institute law firm, the library system made the decision to restore the event to their schedule.
“I’m happy to announce that Madison Public Library has reversed course and are now rightfully inviting us to come host the story hour for the community in Huntsville,” said Brave Books CEO Trent Talbot.
The event was originally organized by publishing company Brave Books and is part of its “See You at the Library” national tour, which is hosted in nearly 300 libraries in 45 states across the country. After Cameron announced on social media that he planned to attend the event, protesters threatened to crash the event.
Organizer Emily Jones, the Madison County chapter chair of Moms for Liberty, said they were advised to move the event to a private location after local law enforcement became aware of the threats of a protest from a group out of Birmingham. brave Books rejected the suggestion, opting to remain a public institution.
“We must stand our ground and fight for our public institutions,” Talbot said. “The foe we fail to meet at the gate in our own generation is the foe we let into the city for the next.”
Brave Books then challenged the library system’s decision to cancel the event, with First Liberty Institute sending a letter stating that they would “vigorously defend” their client’s civil rights in the event of a lawsuit.
The Moms for Liberty event seeks to allow conservative Christian families to meet up at public libraries around the country in lieu of the controversial drag queen story hours. And with the addition of Cameron and Gaines to the roster, more and more families have expressed interest in attending, Jones said.
“The response was overwhelming,” Jones said. “I freaked out on Elizabeth and shouted and kind of did a happy dance.”
Join me this Saturday, August 5th, for the first National 'See You at the Library’ day with thousands of faithful Americans for a day of singing, praying, and reading.
1. TENNESSEE: We will be at the… pic.twitter.com/N9fK2EirAz
— Kirk Cameron (@KirkCameron) August 3, 2023