A Florida law that would have placed a ban on minors attending drag performances has been put on ice
Federal Judge Gregory Presnell has placed a preliminary injunction on a Florida bill banning individuals under the age of 18 from attending drag performances.
The law, dubbed the “Protection of Children Act,” would allow “the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to fine, suspend, or revoke the license of any public lodging, establishment, or public food service establishment if the establishment admits a child to an adult live performance.” DeSantis previously said that drag shows, which are covered by the ban, “sexualize” children.
In his ruling, Presnell sided with Hamburger Mary’s, a restaurant that hosts drag performances and sued the DeSantis administration, claiming that the restrictions implemented by the act were too broad and not only violated their first amendment rights but unfairly harmed their business.
In a move the DeSantis administration likely did not see coming, Presnell cited previous laws passed by the Florida governor in his reasoning for placing an injunction on the law. Presnell wrote that the Florida government had failed to sufficiently narrow the breadth of the ban to prevent its unjust application and its “inevitable clash with the Florida ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’ and other laws.”
The “Parental Bill of Rights” was signed into law by DeSantis in July of 2021. The law, as quoted by Presnell states that “all parental rights are reserved to the parent of a minor child in this state…including…[t]he right to direct the upbringing and the moral or religious training of his or her minor child.”
“A fully clothed drag queen with cleavage-displaying prosthetic breasts reading an age-appropriate story to children may be adjudged ‘wicked’—and thus ‘lewd—by some, but such a scenario would not constitute the kind of obscene conduct prohibited by [other statutes]” the judge wrote.
In a statement to Politico, DeSantis press secretary Jeremy Redfern said the “judge’s opinion is dead wrong,” adding that the administration “[looked] forward to prevailing on appeal.”
Source link: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/florida-anti-drag-law-desantis-judge-blocks-1234777377/