Calgary pastor accused of hate-motivated crimes at drag storytime released from jail
The Calgary pastor charged with hate-motivated offences following an altercation at a library storytime drag event has been released from jail.
Derek Reimer, 36, was kept in custody over the weekend because he refused to sign release conditions ordering him to stay away from LGBTQ2S+ community members and events.
Reimer was granted bail last week but court heard on two occasions he could not be released from the Calgary Remand Centre, including the most recent appearance on Monday morning.
But later Monday, Reimer had a change of heart and signed the conditions, securing his release.
Reimer is accused of shouting homophobic and transphobic slurs at children and parents who were attending a Reading with Royalty event on Feb. 25.
The family-friendly storytimes at public libraries are led by local drag queens or kings, and children are invited to dress in their best outfit, cape or crown.
Reimer faces criminal charges of mischief and causing a disturbance.
Calgary police laid the charges as hate-motivated crimes, which allege the offences were motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on the personal characteristics of a victim. If convicted, the hate aspect of the crimes could be considered in sentencing as an aggravating factor.
The City of Calgary also laid six harassment charges under its new public behaviour bylaw, which includes prohibiting the harassment of anyone on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or gender expression.
Each offence carries a penalty of up to $10,000 and, in default of payment, up to six months imprisonment, the city said in a release.
Following the incident on Feb. 25, the Calgary Public Library postponed another Reading with Royalty event until the organization can ensure attendees' safety.
Reimer runs a street ministry called Mission7. Its motto is "walking like Jesus."