Florida Senate to vote on bill that would allow state to revoke venue license if children attend drag shows

Bill targets any ‘adult live performance’ where children are admitted

Miami Beach drag show (WPLG)

The Florida Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on a bill that would clear the way for the state to revoke the licenses of restaurants and other establishments that allow children to attend drag shows.

The bill came after the DeSantis administration filed a complaint against the Hyatt Regency Miami hotel for hosting a “Drag Queen Christmas” event in December, alleging minors were allowed to see the show.

There were also videos of children attending a drag show in Orlando. The venue in Orlando tried to warn parents the performance might not be appropriate for people under 18, but staff didn’t prevent children from attending.

READ: Full text of bill

Businesses have already lost their liquor licenses because of this.

The bill was filed by Jacksonville Republican Sen. Clay Yarborough, who said the goal is to protect children.

“Parents have the right to raise their children as they see fit, and government intervention should be a last resort. As lawmakers, we have a responsibility to protect children from viewing lewd conduct that is patently offensive to prevailing standards in our communities,” Yarborough told the Senate Rules Committee last month.

Businesses could face thousands of dollars in fines and lose their liquor licenses, and anyone who lets a child see one of these shows could do a year in prison.

The bill’s language doesn’t specifically mention drag shows. It defines an adult live performance as “any show, exhibition, or other presentation that is performed in front of a live audience and in whole or in part, depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, specific sexual activities, … lewd conduct, or the lewd exposure of prosthetic or imitation genitals or breasts.”

There is an exception to this bill, and it’s for people and businesses who allow minors to attend a show if a parent is with them. Some say this portion of the bill should be revised.

A House version of the bill is still in committee.

About the Author:

A Florida-born, Emmy Award winning journalist and proud NC A&T SU grad