LGBTQ+ rights advocates and drag queens alongside the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit Wednesday to block a Texas law preventing drag performers from engaging in sexually explicit displays in public.
The lawsuit alleges that the law blocks Texans’ ability to free speech, threatens the lives of drag queens and could potentially outlaw cheerleading in public. Conservatives across the nation have been cracking down on public sexual performances and seeking to ban drag performances in front of minors.
The law, signed by Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in June, bans sexually explicit performances in the presence of children or simulation of sexual acts in front of children and goes into effect Sept. 1. (RELATED: ‘Not A Suitable Use’: Pentagon Cancels Air Force Base Drag Show Right Before Pride Month)
“The exhibition or representation, actual, or simulated, of sexual acts, including vaginal sex, anal sex, and masturbation” is banned in public in front of children by the law.
The lawsuit argues that the law could potentially sweep up other performances such as cheerleading, Broadway shows and karaoke nights. Violations of the law could result in up to $10,000 per and violators could face up to a year in prison.
“The Texas Drag Ban is stunningly broad in scope and will chill entire genres of free expression in our state,” Brian Klosterboer, attorney at the ACLU’s Texas chapter, told The Associated Press.
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