A protest with far-right men wearing Bud Light costumes outside a Portage drag show ended with one person arrested Saturday. A second person may also be charged.
The far-right protesters were outside the Unitarian Universalist Community Church, 10441 Shaver Road, on Saturday, May 20, during the “Drag Me to Church” drag show that was suitable for all-ages, according to the event page. There was also Drag 101 workshop.
There were people attending the event and a “small group of protesters” outside, Portage Public Safety Chief Nick Armold said. Photos from outside the event showed roughly 10 people protesting the drag show and a larger group protesting the protesters.
Officers were in the area and responded to an altercation between people from each side, Armold said. The issue was de-escalated and one person protesting the drag show was arrested, Armold said.
The man was charged with disorderly conduct under Portage city code, Armold said on Tuesday, May 23. A second person may also be charged, although police didn’t clarify which side that person was from.
No injuries were reported, Armold said.
Numerous social media posts talked about the Proud Boys showing up to the drag show and asked for people to come help protect the show. Police haven’t responded to questions about whether the protesters were from the Proud Boys group.
One man posted about the protest on Twitter, wearing a Bud Light costume and saying, “The groomers are big mad.” Other social media posts show multiple people wearing the Bud Light bottle costumes.
Bud Light has been criticized by some on the far right after it sent beer to transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney in April. Mulvaney posted a video of herself with the beers as part of a sponsorship deal and promotion. Well-known conservatives called for a boycott and celebrities spoke out against the sponsorship. Kid Rock posted a video of him shooting cans of the beer and Travis Tritt said he’ll ban the beer from his tour.
During the show, the church raised money for Legacy House, which provides shelter and support for homeless LGBTQ young adults.
“We are especially grateful to members of the Portage Public Safety Department and other members of law enforcement whose presence kept everyone safe,” the church said in a statement.
“We will not let the politicization of diversity that is occurring today alter the course of our mission and vision – of who we are as a community. We will continue, with love and compassion, to support safety and justice for the LGBTQ community.”
Source : Mlive