Several states put forth measures to ban minors from attending drag shows

by Jacob Fuller

Vicky Arias, FISM News

Arkansas is slated to become the most recent state in the nation to take legal measures to protect minors from attending drag shows.

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is expected to sign a bill recently passed by state legislatures that amends the definition of “adult-oriented performances,” bans such events from taking place in public areas, and prohibits minors from attending the events. Additionally, public tax dollars will be prohibited from being used to fund such events.

Previous versions of the bill specifically stated drag shows as “adult-oriented business,” but the language of the legislation was changed yesterday to reflect a broader sense of adult themes.

The bill defines an “adult-oriented performance” as one “that is intended to appeal to the prurient interest,” meaning to encourage interest in sexual matters. According to the bill, adult performances also include those in which “a person … appears in a state of nudity or is seminude,” or a performance that displays “the purposeful exposure, … complete or partial, of a specific anatomical area or [of artificial] genitalia or breasts.”

The new legislation will no doubt have an effect on ‘drag-queen story hours’ at public Arkansas libraries, as well as public drag shows where minors are in attendance.

Sanders commented in January on the bill and the importance of protecting children.

“I think we have to do everything — I’ve been very clear and talked about this pretty extensively — to protect children. I think that’s what this bill does,” Sanders said, according to the New York Post.

Similarly, in January, Arizona’s legislature put forth a measure that bans adult performances, including drag shows, from being done “on public property [or] in a location where [they] could be viewed by a minor.”

Additionally, the state of Tennessee is also currently working on comparable legislation to protect minors from adult-themed drag events.

A drag queen known as Kitty Demure has been a vocal opponent of having children present during drag performances, saying that they are an “adult space” and that it “isn’t right” for children to attend these types of events.

Demure sat for an interview with Fox News host Jesse Waters in October and explained the dangers of having minors attend drag shows.

“What is the lesson [for children] to see a man dressed up wearing a wig and being sexual in front of your child?” Demure asked before stating that “we used to arrest men like that.”

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has also condemned drag events, specifically ‘drag queen story hours,’ where minors are present.

“These inappropriate events are extremely divisive … for good reason. In all cases, they place young children in close proximity with adults who are intentionally and explicitly sexualized,” Rubio stated in May.