Texas Lawmakers Propose Drag Ban Modeled After Anti-Abortion ‘Bounty Hunter’ Law

Republicans in Texas have launched six anti-drag payments, together with one that will enable individuals to sue drag performers.

Republican lawmakers in Texas have introduced a bill that will enable people to sue drag performers and the venues that host them if a baby is in attendance at a efficiency— an enforcement mechanism that LGBTQ and abortion advocates have in comparison with that of Texas’s 2021 abortion ban, which successfully encourages bounty hunting.

Home Invoice 4378 is one in all six anti-drag payments launched by Republicans in Texas, and comes days after Tennessee turned the primary state within the U.S. to criminalize drag performances. Fourteen other states have introduced similar legislation this yr.

Whereas Texas has not but outlawed drag performances, a Dallas restaurant that has hosted drag brunches up to now not too long ago obtained a letter from the Texas Comptroller’s Workplace asserting that the company had launched an investigation into the enterprise to find out if the institution needs to be thought-about “sexually oriented.”

LGBTQ advocates have warned that Texas’s newest anti-drag invoice might have harmful penalties — particularly for transgender individuals, who’ve been the target of legislative attacks within the state for months.

On February 18, Texas Lawyer Normal Ken Paxton issued a nonbinding legal opinion defining gender-affirming take care of minors as an act of kid abuse after the legislature failed to pass a ban on gender-affirming care. 4 days later, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a widespread ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth and ordered the Texas Division of Household and Protecting Companies to investigate the households of trans youngsters. Whereas civil rights groups sued to dam Abbott’s directive, resulting in an issuance of a temporary restraining order by a district choose, many households of trans youngsters have been forced to leave the state.

In 2022, transgender activist and civil rights lawyer Alejandra Caraballo wrote that the Texas legislature was organizing an “all-out battle on trans individuals’s existence.” In November 2022, lawmakers had launched two payments that will classify venues that host drag exhibits as “sexually oriented companies,” legally just like strip golf equipment. The payments’ definition of drag “would embody each trans one that a lot as sings or dances in any public venue,” Caraballo warned.

Whereas these payments haven’t moved since being referred to State Affairs, 45 anti-LGBTQ bills have been launched this session in Texas. Advancing payments embrace laws that will make offering gender-affirming care a felony offense; a invoice that will outline gender-affirming take care of transgender youth as “child abuse,” which might result in the criminalization of fogeys of trans youngsters; laws to ban gender marker changes on beginning certificates for minors; and a “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Texas has additionally introduced a bill that would ban trans youngsters from taking part in sports activities, though a sports activities ban was already signed into law within the state in 2021.

Most notoriously, Texas lawmakers have superior Senate Bill 1029, which might effectively end trans adults’ access to gender-affirming care. This invoice would ban public funding for gender-affirming care, bar some well being plans from offering “protection for a gender modification process,” and develop authorized legal responsibility for suppliers that supply gender-affirming care.

“Texas has turn out to be one of the crucial harmful and hostile locations for transgender youth and transgender individuals and their households in America,” said Andrea Segovia, senior subject and coverage adviser of the Transgender Schooling Community of Texas.

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