Upon signing a bill targeting drag performances on Sunday, Governor Greg Abbott made Texas the fourth Republican-led state to enact such a law.
Texas governor Greg Abbott signed an extreme bill targeting drag performances on Sunday, making Texas the fourth Republican-led state to enact such a law.https://t.co/5eVcep0LAO
— The New Republic (@newrepublic) June 19, 2023
From The New Republic:
The new law will criminalize any performances that occur or could occur in front of a minor if they appeal to “prurient interest” or are of a sexual nature.
Performers could be charged with a misdemeanor (and face up to one year in jail, a $4,000 fine, or both), while any business that hosts the show would face a $10,000 fine.
The law is extremely broad, which actually creates a host of other complications. A group of lawyers previously told The Dallas Morning News that the measure could restrict performances by artists such as Madonna and Miley Cyrus, which often feature sexual dancing.
The text could even affect bachelorette parties, if they involved sex toys or other paraphernalia. The new changes could even impact cheerleading and criminalize sexual conduct between consenting 17-year-olds (17 is the age of consent in Texas).
Specific references to drag were removed from the final, but opponents say the vague language in the bill still targets LGBTQ people.
The new Texas law goes into effect in September. Earlier this year, Tennessee, Florida, and Montana passed their own drag bans.
UPDATE: Gov. Abbott has signed "drag ban" #SB12 into law, which threatens free expression and tries to censor all performers in Texas — including those who are LGBTQIA+.
Texans should be able to express ourselves free from government intimidation. Period.
— ACLU of Texas (@ACLUTx) June 20, 2023