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Tags: kentucky | drag | law | lgbtq | transgender | crime

Ky. Senate Passes Public Drag Show Ban Bill

By    |   Saturday, 11 March 2023 11:14 AM EST

The Kentucky State Senate passed a bill Friday that would be the nation's second ban on drag performances in front of children. The state joins neighboring Tennessee, which passed the first law limiting such shows from being held in public places or private venues with minors present.

The bill, which passed 26-6 along party lines with one abstention, bans "adult performances," defined as "live sexually explicit performance ... or a live performance involving male or female impersonators, who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest in sexual conduct, regardless of whether or not performed for consideration, which taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."

Violators would be charged with a class B misdemeanor for the first offense, a class A misdemeanor for the second offense, and a class D felony for third and subsequent offenses, according to the bill.

A business that violates the law by allowing minors to see such shows would lose its liquor license as well as any other business license. The bill further allows for "any other action deemed appropriate" to be taken against said business.

The bill goes to the Kentucky State House, where Republicans have a supermajority, before heading to Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear to sign.

Newsmax reached out to Beshear's office for comment, but did not get a response in time to include in this story.

Kentucky would be the second state in the nation to pass such a ban behind neighboring Tennessee, which Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed into law March 2, CNN reported.

According to the report, that law goes into effect July 1 and limits "adult cabaret performances" on public property, shielding them from being viewed by children. It defines the performances as featuring "topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest, or similar entertainers."

That law also permits violators to be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, for repeat offenders.

"For clarification, this bill is not targeting any group of people. It does not ban drag shows in public," Tennessee State Sen. Jack Johnson, a Republican, told CNN. "It simply puts age restrictions in place to ensure that children are not present at sexually explicit performances."

The Tennessee chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union tweeted March 2 that it plans to challenge enforcement of that state's law if it is used to punish drag performers or "shut down a family-friendly LGBTQ event."

"We are concerned that government officials could easily abuse this law to censor people based on their own subjective viewpoints of what they deem appropriate, chilling protected free speech & sending a message to LGBTQ Tennesseans that they are not welcome in our state," the organization tweeted.

Fourteen states, including Kentucky, Arizona, and Oklahoma, are considering similar legislation, Time reported.

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The Kentucky State Senate passed a bill Friday that would be the nation's second ban on drag performances in front of children.
kentucky, drag, law, lgbtq, transgender, crime
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2023-14-11
Saturday, 11 March 2023 11:14 AM
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