Federal Judge Blocks Texas Ban on Public Drag Shows Involving Children

In a significant legal development, a federal judge has put a temporary halt to Texas’ controversial ban on public drag shows featuring children. U.S. District Judge David Hittner, who was appointed by former President Ronald Reagan, has ruled that the law likely infringes upon the freedom of speech of performers.

The ban, which had faced staunch opposition from various quarters, was challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on August 2nd. The ACLU argued that the law violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

“Drag performers and LGBTQIA+ allied businesses belong in our state — and Texas politicians have no right to censor our free expression,” stated the ACLU of Texas in a tweet.

The law in question sought to prohibit sexualized performances that “exaggerate male or female sexual characteristics” in the presence of minors or in public spaces. The court order blocking the law is set to remain in effect for a period of 14 days.

This move by Texas follows a pattern seen in other states as well. Montana experienced a similar legal battle in June when a judge blocked a law banning drag shows in front of minors. Likewise, in March, Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a bill into law banning drag shows in front of children, only to have it blocked by a judge in April.

A spokesperson for Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton expressed their commitment to defending the state law, stating, “The people of Texas were appalled to learn of an increasing trend of obscene, sexually explicit so-called ‘drag’ performances being marketed to families with children. The Office of the Attorney General will pursue all legal remedies possible to aggressively defend SB 12, the state law that regulates such performances to protect children and uphold public decency.”

As this legal battle unfolds, the ACLU of Texas has yet to respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation. The outcome of this case will likely have broader implications for the rights of performers and the boundaries of freedom of expression in the United States.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *