Man accused of hate crimes at drag storytime won't commit to staying away from LGBTQ events
The Calgary man facing hate-crime charges after disrupting a storytime event at the Seton public library refuses to sign release conditions ordering him to stay away from LGBTQ2S+ community members and their events.
Derek Reimer, 36, faces criminal charges of mischief and causing a disturbance as well as six harassment charges under the City of Calgary's public behaviour bylaw.
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 says conditions 'impossible to satisfy'
Reimer appeared in provincial court last week after his arrest and was granted bail on a $3,000 promise to pay under two conditions:
He is not permitted to have contact in person or over social media with any identified LGBTQ2S+ community member.
He is not allowed to attend or be within 200 metres of an LGBTQ2S+ community event.
After refusing to sign those conditions, the case was put over to Monday, and Reimer remained behind bars at the Calgary Remand Centre.
On Monday, defence lawyer Ben Allison appeared in court and put the case over another week, telling provincial court Judge Karim Jivraj his client feels the conditions are "impossible to satisfy" and signing them would be "inviting a breach."
The defence lawyer says he is working on "a path that I hope would protect him" and will return to court on this matter on March 14.
Homophobic and transphobic slurs
Just after 11 a.m. on Feb. 25, Reimer and others "aggressively entered a library classroom," according to a Calgary Police Service release.
They are accused of "shouting homophobic and transphobic slurs at the children and parents in attendance, scaring the children while causing a disturbance and subsequently refusing to leave."
Calgary police laid the charges against Reimer as hate crimes, which allege the offences were motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on the personal characteristics of a victim.
If Reimer is convicted, the hate aspect of the crimes could be considered in sentencing as an aggravating factor.
Fines of up to $10,000 per offence
Reimer also faces six counts of harassment under Calgary's 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, the Calgary Public Library announced it was postponing its Reading with Royalty event at the Southwood Library that had been planned for this past weekend.
"We remain committed to our partnership with Calgary Pride and will reschedule the event once we can be sure that we can provide a safe and fun environment for kids and families that wish to attend," the library said in a statement.