(BrightPress.org) – Texas is taking another shot at banning illicit performances for children with a new bill signed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on June 18th that outlaws lewd performances in the presence of minors. LGBTQ activists claim the law targets drag performances and consider it an “attack.”
Senate Bill 12 will go into effect on September 1st, outlawing “sexually oriented” displays with nudity involved or that otherwise could be described as having a “prurient interest” in adult material when minors are present. Violations for venues hosting such events result in civil penalties including large fines, up to $10,000. Performers themselves could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor which carries maximum penalties of up to a year in prison and a $4,000 fine.
Previously the bill had specifically targeted drag performances, but lawmakers thought it was better to focus on a broader context of adult-themed performances for minors. Drag advocates complain that the bill will target drag queens and drag events, including transgender performers.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) agreed with that appraisal last month when he implied that the law was a tool to “push back” against radical gender-bending performances for children which have been growing in popularity and frequency in recent years. Patrick acknowledged that children need to be protected from adult-themed content as they cannot make their own decisions about what material they are exposed to or which events their activist parents drag them to.
Texas will be the latest state to codify restrictions on adult-themed drag performances for children. Montana, Florida, and Tennessee have all passed legislation attempts to end public displays of adult-themed content for children. Major media continues to describe the conservative push to protect children as “anti-drag” or “discriminatory” while the major complaint from proponents is the bizarre desire to perform in front of audiences that include small children. Many adult homosexuals reject the practice, though their opinions are typically ignored.
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