FIGURES from across the political spectrum have condemned Douglas Ross for his criticism of an LGBT+ Pride event for children due to take place this weekend.

Elgin Library is due to host Drag Queen Story Time with teacher and drag artist Miss Lossie Mouth on Saturday, June 10.

The event involves Miss Lossie Mouth reading picture books to children aged between 0-6 which discuss acceptance of individuality and same sex relationships.

However, Douglas Ross tweeted that the event was “totally inappropriate”. 

“It’s totally inappropriate to hold a show like this for kids under the age of six," he said. 

“Story time for babies and young kids shouldn’t focus on gender or sexual identity.

“That is common sense and on behalf of constituents who’ve contacted me, I’ve raised this with the council.”

But the leader of the Scottish Conservatives is facing backlash for the comments, with many asking whether he wants to stop children attending pantomimes, too. 

Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer responded to Ross’s tweet: “You really are a nasty little bigot.

“Presumably you've never taken your kids to the panto?”

Jérémie Fernandes, an SNP councillor for Elgin City North, told the National that Ross’s comments were “disappointing but not surprising”.

"Douglas Ross has a track record of attacking LGBT+ rights to the point where Pride in Moray were forced to issue a statement last year condemning his views,” he said.

"His latest attack on an event organised by Moray's library service is disappointing but not surprising. Librarians are professionals who know exactly what is and isn't appropriate for young people and this event will encourage young children to engage with books and reading.

"It is no surprise that hate crimes against the LGBT community are on the rise when politicians are stoking fear rather than promoting acceptance, inclusion and equality. It is a reminder as to why we still need Pride."

Green MSP Maggie Chapman said that Ross's views were straight from the "far right playbook". 

“Douglas Ross is showing his true colours," she said. "He’s cast himself as a pantomime villain with his preposterous and narrow minded attacks on a simple and innocent community event. 

“Why would anyone want to stop children from learning about the joys of reading and books? Or about the diversity of our families and communities?

“Perhaps we should expect no better from a party that has defined itself against almost every step towards a more progressive and inclusive society.

“Is Douglas Ross desperately scraping the barrel for more cynical culture war nonsense? Oh yes he is. 

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“How can the Tories lecture us about so-called ‘cancel culture’ in one breath and then demand the cancellation of a library event because they don’t like the look of the person doing the reading? 

“It seems that the only book he’s interested in is the far right playbook - that’s clearly where this latest outburst comes from.”

Neil Alexander, the leader of the Liberal Democrat group in Moray, criticised Douglas Ross for "attacking" Miss Lossie Mouth. 

"The vile hatred directed at Miss Lossie Mouth is unacceptable in Scotland in 2023.

"The event was announced on the same day as new stats showing that Moray has the highest percentage of child poverty in the entire north of Scotland, yet that has received nowhere near the same attention locally.

"I know which story I'm more worried about.

"It's deplorable of our elected MP Douglas Ross to be attacking this individual in this way and stoking such hatred. He hasn't even released any statement about the child poverty stats. We deserve better from our elected MP."

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David Harrison, the chair of Pride in Moray - who organise the region's Pride yearly Pride parade - said the event was entirely safe for children.

He told The National: “We’re not surprised by Douglas Ross’s comments. He has not been a fully supportive member of the UK or Scottish Parliaments when it comes to LGBT+ rights here in Scotland.  

“With regards to the event itself: it’s safe for kids. We know the drag act, Miss Lossie Mouth, very well and it’s just story time.  

“It is there to support inclusivity and gender equality, which are important topics for any age group.  

“Plus, there will already be children who have two dads or two mums and so, for them, the things discussed might be no different from what they already know.”  

“It’s really no different from pantomime.”

Earlier this year one of the books set to be read at the event, And Tango Makes Three, which tells the story of two male penguins who fall in love and adopt a baby, was banned by a school district in Florida under governor Ron DeSantis’s “Don’t Say Gay” laws.

The laws ban the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in schools until the age of 9 and have resulted in many books being removed from school libraries in the state.

Ross has also previously met the drag queen involved in the event, who has previously been praised for his work as an educator in creating inclusive and safe environments for LGBT+ people. 

In 2020, Ross re-tweeted John Naples-Campbell (who appears in drag as Miss Lossie Mouth) saying: "Really good to meet you today and appreciate the time you gave to discuss a range of LGBT issues in Moray."