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Tags: drag shows | florida | ron desantis | lgbtq | judge | injunction

Florida Rulings Appear to Favor Advocates for Various Drag Events

person in drag is singing
(AP)

Thursday, 20 July 2023 07:29 PM EDT

Librarians who feared fines for hosting drag queen story hours and Pride parade organizers who worried about citations for including drag performers were heartened by a judge's ruling – his injunction blocking Florida's anti-drag law extends to all state venues, an attorney who is helping challenge the law said Thursday.

A pair of orders that U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell issued in the past month makes clear that drag performances in themselves are not lewd or lascivious behavior, said Gary Israel, one of the attorneys for an Orlando restaurant that filed a lawsuit challenging the new Florida law championed by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis as unconstitutional.

In his first order last month, the Orlando judge granted a preliminary injunction temporarily halting enforcement of the law until a trial is held to determine its constitutionality. He also denied a Florida licensing and regulatory agency's request to dismiss the lawsuit. The agency appealed the decision and asked that during the appeal the injunction only be applied to the restaurant that brought the lawsuit.

Presnell rejected that argument on Wednesday, saying any harm to the state of Florida is minimal if the preliminary injunction remains in place, and that all Floridians are potentially parties since free speech is at stake. He reiterated that the law is likely unconstitutional.

The state agency charged with enforcing the law, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, didn't respond to an email seeking comment on Thursday.

The new law punished venues for allowing children into "adult live performances." Though it did not specify drag shows, the sponsor of the legislation said it was aimed at those performances. Venues that violated the law faced fines and the possibility of their liquor licenses being suspended or revoked. Individuals could be charged with a misdemeanor crime.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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Librarians who feared fines for hosting drag queen story hours and Pride parade organizers who worried about citations for including drag performers were heartened by a judge's ruling - his injunction blocking Florida's anti-drag law extends to all state venues.
drag shows, florida, ron desantis, lgbtq, judge, injunction
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2023-29-20
Thursday, 20 July 2023 07:29 PM
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