Samuel Case, FISM News
An Orlando restaurant sued Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday, arguing the state’s ban on drag shows for minors violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Governor DeSantis signed HB1438 into law on May 17 which, “protects children from sexually explicit adult performances in all venues – including drag shows and strip clubs,” according to a press release on the law. The bill imposes fines and suspends or revokes licenses for venues that violate the law.
Under the law “adult live performances” are considered any show that “nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or specific sexual activities.” Anyone who “knowingly” exposes a child to such an event could face a first-degree misdemeanor.
Hamburger Mary’s Orlando, which is known for its drag shows according to the Daily Caller, says the law suppresses free expression.
According to the complaint, after the bill became law the restaurant “Immediately, 20% of their bookings canceled for the May 21, 2023 show and for future bookings. They simply cannot take the chance that their business or liquor licenses would be suspended for hosting a drag show where children attend.”
Hamburger Mary’s argues its drag shows are “family-friendly” and does not contain any sexually inappropriate content, calling it a “wholesome form of art and entertainment.”