Federal Judge Blocks Red State Ban On Drag Shows In Front Of Children

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Brandon Poulter Contributor
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A federal judge blocked Texas’ ban on public drag shows in front of children Thursday.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner, appointed by former President Ronald Reagan, said the law likely violates performers’ freedom of speech, according to a court order. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenged the law on Aug. 2, claiming the law violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments, according to the complaint. (RELATED: Nebraska Gov Signs Executive Order Defining Male, Female)

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

“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.,” a spokesperson for Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told the Daily Caller News Foundation. (RELATED: Here Are The 14 States Moving To Prohibit Sexually Explicit Drag Shows For Minors)

The Texas law prohibits sexualized performances that “exaggerate male or female sexual characteristics” in the presence of minors or in public. The order blocking the law is set to last for 14 days.

Other states have enacted similar laws that have been blocked.

A judge in Montana blocked a law banning drag shows in front of minors in June. Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill banning drag shows in front of children into law in March, and that law was blocked by a judge in April.

The ACLU of Texas did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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