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Tags: drag shows | florida | lgbtq | children | ron desantis

Judge Blocks Florida Ban on Minors Attending Drag Shows

By    |   Friday, 23 June 2023 06:18 PM EDT

The federal District Court for the Middle District of Florida temporarily blocked the state from enforcing a law prohibiting minors from attending drag shows, a court filing showed.

On Friday, Senior Judge Gregory A. Presnell granted a request by the legal team of Hamburger Mary's, a drag-themed regional restaurant chain that alleges the Florida law is too broad and hinders the First Amendment.

"The state claims that this statute seeks to protect children generally from obscene live performances. However, ... Florida already has statutes that provide such protection. Rather, this statute is specifically designed to suppress the speech of drag queen performers," Presnell argued.

The judge also suggested that, while some people might find a drag performer reading a children's book to a minor inappropriate, it does not necessarily constitute an obscene performance.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' press secretary Jeremy Redfern told Politico that his cabinet would continue to stand behind Melanie Griffin, the state secretary of business and professional regulation named in the lawsuit.

The Republican governor's spokesman also pledged to appeal Presnell's decision.

In April, Republican state lawmakers approved the legislation in question, Senate Bill 1438, prohibiting those under 18 years of age from attending drag shows with "lewd" performances.

DeSantis signed the bill into law a month later.

"Florida is proud to lead the way in standing up for our children," the governor said on May 17. "As the world goes mad, Florida represents a refuge of sanity and a citadel of normalcy."

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The federal District Court for the Middle District of Florida temporarily blocked the state from enforcing a law prohibiting minors from attending drag shows, a court filing showed.
drag shows, florida, lgbtq, children, ron desantis
247
2023-18-23
Friday, 23 June 2023 06:18 PM
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