The proposal locations “a goal [on] drag performers,” one LGBTQ advocate mentioned.
A Republican lawmaker within the Oklahoma state legislature has proposed a invoice that will criminalize sure drag performances that happen in public areas.
The bill, authored by state Rep. Kevin West (R), wrongly claims that such performances are equal to 18-and-over leisure, together with grownup dancing or conditions the place nudity is current. The invoice’s textual content particularly singles out kid-friendly occasions that don’t have any sexual connotations in any respect — together with the popular library reading program “Drag Queen Story Hour.”
West claims that the invoice would nonetheless permit folks to host drag performances in personal areas. “It wouldn’t be allowed the place simply most people would be capable to see the efficiency. So like a library or a faculty or one thing like that will fall into being beneath the jurisdiction of this invoice,” West told Business Insider.
However the bill’s parameters for what varieties of venues can be allowed to host drag exhibits are imprecise, together with for G-rated performances the place dad and mom might voluntarily carry their kids to be entertained.
“It shall be illegal for an individual to prepare or authorize the viewing of a drag queen story hour on public property or in a location the place the drag queen story hour might be seen by an individual who’s a minor,” reads the invoice, which is scheduled for a February 6 ground listening to within the Oklahoma state Home of Representatives.
If the invoice turns into legislation, personal institutions like eating places or bookstores might doubtlessly be banned from internet hosting drag performances; these present in violation of the legislation would be subject to fines of up to $20,000 and might be imprisoned for as many as two years.
The invoice is without doubt one of the newest legislative attacks on drag performers in statehouses across the country. Proposals that sexualize non-sexual drag occasions are a part of a deeper line of assault on the better LGBTQ group, wrote Washington Publish gender and society columnist Monica Hesse final summer season.
“The controversy should be shifted ‘to sexualization,’ as a result of with out such a shift, there can be no debate,” Hesse said, including that:
The uproar over such a sincerely healthful occasion makes it plain what the difficulty actually is: not parental rights. Not sexualization. Not the content material of what the drag queens are studying to the children. It’s the existence of drag queens. It’s the concept somebody would possibly current in a means that was at odds with a sure imaginative and prescient of how males or girls ought to costume or current or behave.
Nicole McAfee, govt director of Freedom Oklahoma, condemned the invoice for putting a goal on drag performers.
The invoice would create “a scenario that would put plenty of Oklahoma particular person performers and small companies out of enterprise and create actual hurt in censoring expression of artists throughout the state,” McAfee said to Fox 25 in Oklahoma City.