Drag Queen performers feel they are under heavy attack by the State of Texas over the banning of children under the age of 18 who are accompanied by parents and the parents are willing to pay for entry into entertainment venues to allow their children to sit with them while watching live drag shows.
When Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law that forbids sexual performance in front of children and teenagers under 18, particularly live shows by homosexuals masquerading as women during LGBTQ entertainment events, Abbott's decision ignited a firestorm of controversy and cries of lawmakers being homophobic.
During the most recent session of lawmakers, a debate took center stage about whether drag shows suit families. Senate Bill 12 has been passed nonetheless, meaning that drag shows where children are present are prohibited. This decision sparked intense scrutiny across the country.capitol.texas.gov
But now, a group fighting for people's rights is taking Texas state to court, saying the law goes against the Constitution. The Houston-base ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has sued the great State of Texas on behalf of gay organizations, claiming that SB 12 is an unlawful law that goes against the First and Fourteenth Amendments and poses a threat to the livelihood and freedom of expression of many Texans, including drag performers.aclutx.org
"The Texas Drag Ban is very wide in its reach and will discourage many different forms of free expression in our state," stated Brian Klosterboer, a lawyer at the ACLU of Texas. "This law goes against the First Amendment. No entertainer should be put in prison just because the government doesn't like what they say. We want the Court to stop this attack on the constitutional rights of all people in Texas."
The gay organizations suing Texas are:
- The Woodlands Pride,
- Abilene Pride Alliance,
- 360 Queen Entertainment,
- A Drag Performer Named Brigitte Bandit.
“Texas queens and kings from across our great state have been targets of threats and misinformation as a result of the anti-drag law,” said Brigitte Bandit, a drag artist. “We must reject their attempts to divide us and continue to come together in our truth and power to support each other as Texans should."
Brigitte went on to say, "Our community will not be used as a scapegoat or a distraction by politicians who do not know who we are or what we do. State leaders should focus on legitimate issues, not political stunts. I dream of a state that’s better for us all, no matter who we are, how we live, or who we love. Long live Texas drag!”
The person who formulated the idea and plan for SB 12 was Senator Bryan Hughes, a politician from Mineola. Hughes introduced the law to limit "certain sexually suggestive shows" performed in front of kids.
The law will start on September 1st, according to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. After the law was approved, Patrick celebrated in rock star fashion on social media, stating that someone needs to stand against the radical left's inappropriate drag shows that are harmful to children in Texas. "I am surprised that any parent would let their young child be involved in drag shows that focus on their sexuality."
The ACLU is suing Patrick because they disagree with his idea that drag shows are making children at the shows more sexualized. Instead, the ACLU argues that drag is a type of art that allows for creativity. They point to churches and places of worship in Texas that organize drag shows where families and children also come to watch.
The people who brought the case believe that the bill covers too many things and will limit shows like theater, ballet, comedy, and even cheerleading.
This point of view was brought up at the beginning when the bill was being discussed in the Texas Senate by opposing Senators. Roland Gutierrez, a politician from San Antonio, and Sarah Eckhardt, a politician from Austin, asked Senator Hughes some questions about acts like "gyrating and twerking. " They also asked if a Miley Cyrus concert would be allowed under SB 12.
Hughes said that if a performance is sexually oriented and appeals to people's sexual interest, and there are children present, then it will be a problem. The key elements of the lawsuit focus heavily on "sexual conduct" and "prurient interest in sex. " The plaintiffs say that these definitions are unclear and do not clearly state what someone must have intended to be guilty of a crime.
After the news of the lawsuit appeared on social media, state lawmakers expressed their thoughts.
Senator Hughes, the author of SB 12, responded that “children must be protected from sexually explicit performances. Senate Bill 12 provides that protection, and I am confident that this common-sense law will be upheld.”
Texas Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-Plano), the House sponsor of the bill, called the ACLU of Texas a “liberal Democrat extremist organization that supports the sexualization of children.” This statement echoed Rep. Jared Patterson’s (R-Frisco) sentiments, as he called the organization a “radical entity and the enemy of all Texans who cherish wholesome family values.”
“Sexual performances are not acceptable forms of expression in front of or entertainment for children,” Patterson continued.
“Adults used to agree on such things, but the far left sees our young children as opportunities for self-gratification. It’s evil, it’s disgusting and it will be met with the same resistance Texans have shown throughout our storied history of fighting oppression.”
The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas in Houston, will have its initial conference hearing on September 28, after the bill goes into effect on September 1, 2023.
News Reporter Clarence Walker can be reached at email@example.com