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Taxpayer-backed Lynnwood Pride event to feature toddler catwalk

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(The Center Square) – An event put on by Lynnwood Pride in partnership with the City of Lynnwood and cosponsored by Snohomish County will include a “kids catwalk” allowing children as young as 2 years old to participate, potentially to songs containing sexually charged lyrics.

The “Wizard of Oz” theme event put on by Lynwood Pride will take place on June 8 at the Lynnwood Event Center. As part of its partnership, the city will reimburse the organization for up to $2,500 toward “eligible expenses” including the event rentals, artist fees, and marketing, but their receipted expenses must be $5,000 or more to be eligible. The city is also promoting the event on its website and social media.

According to a city spokesperson, city-partnered events must take place within the city, be open to the public, and “provide a public benefit to the community.”

As part of the three-minute catwalk, Lynnwood Pride suggests several songs, including “Let It Go” from the Disney film “Frozen.” Other songs suggested for the catwalk include “Texas Hold ‘Em” by Beyonce, “Supermodel – You Better Work” by RuPaul, and “Free Your Mind” by En Vogue.

Beyonce’s “Texas Hold ‘Em” includes the following lyrics:

“And I’ll be d—-d if I cannot dance with you

Come pour some liquor on me, honey too

It’s a real life boogie and a real life hoedown

Don’t be a b—h, come take it to the floor now.”

From En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind”:

“I wear tight clothing, high-heeled shoes

It doesn’t mean that I’m a prostitute no, no

I like rap music, wear hip-hop clothes

That doesn’t mean that I’m out sellin’ dope, no, no, no

Oh my, forgive me for having straight hair, no

It doesn’t mean there’s another blood in my heir, yeah, yeah

I might date another race or color

It doesn’t mean I don’t like my strong black brothers.”

Among the catwalk judges are Lynwood City Councilmembers Josh Binda and Nick Coelho. Also judging is Maralyn Chase, a former state senator, and Sen. Marko Liias, D-Edmonds.

In addition to Binda and Liias, event speakers include Snohomish Sheriff Susanna Johnson. Snohomish County is cosponsoring the event through its Office of Social Justice, which “seeks to dismantle the individual, institutional, and structural racism that exists in the County.” The office offers sponsorship initiatives of up to $5,000 “to organizations working to advance efforts related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Conservative Ladies of Washington Founder Julie Barrett wrote in an email to The Center Square that “it is unacceptable and highly inappropriate for the City of Lynnwood to use taxpayer funds to sponsor a Pride event that will sexualize children as young as 2 years old, putting them on a “cat walk” to be judged by adult men.”

She added that “it is very disturbing that Senator Marko Liias, who was the prime sponsor of SB 5599, which allows for minor children to be hidden from the parents to receive ‘gender affirming care’ in host homes or shelters, is one of the speakers for this event sexualizing children. If adults want to have celebratory pride events, these should be done without children present and without taxpayer funding.”

When contacted by The Center Square for comment on their decision to partner with Lynnwood Pride on the event, a city spokesperson wrote in an email that “Lynnwood Pride’s event is public where community members are invited but not required to attend. They have gone through our application process to ensure that the event meets our requirements for a public event, which it does. We will provide reimbursements for a specific set of designated items up to a certain amount if they meet those specific requirements. This is the extent of what we can and will speak to.”

The Center Square also reached out to the Snohomish County Office of Social Justice for comment, but did not receive a response by time of publication.