Monday, May 22, 2023

Orlando restaurant, Hamburger Mary's, is suing DeSantis and Florida over anti-drag law

Hamburger Mary's is suing FL Gov Ron DeSantis over the state's new anti-drag law.

I am glad this is happening. DeSantis pushed for this law, now let him and his people try to defend it:

From The Orlando Sentinel:

Hamburger Mary’s in Orlando is suing Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state of Florida in federal court, claiming the restaurant has been deprived of its First Amendment rights and is already losing customers under a new law affecting drag shows. 

 Gov. DeSantis signed bills last Wednesday taking aim at transgender treatments for minors, pronouns in schools, bathroom use and children attending drag shows. The changes included penalties for venues letting children into “adult live performances” and potential first-degree misdemeanor charges for violators. 

 Hamburger Mary’s filed the lawsuit Monday, which also names as a defendant Melanie Griffin, secretary of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, is asking the court to stop the law from being enforced. 

 And while defenders of the law saying either that it doesn't target drag or it only calls out sexually explicit performance, Hamburger Mary's lawsuit puts both assertions into question.

The restaurant, which opened in 2008, has hosted drag performances that include bingo, trivia and comedy. On Sundays, the downtown Orlando restaurant has “family friendly” drag shows to which children are invited, the lawsuit said. 

 After the law was signed, the restaurant told customers that children would not be allowed at any drag shows and it lost 20% of its bookings for Sunday and future events, according to the lawsuit. “They simply cannot take the chance that their business or liquor licenses would be suspended for hosting a drag show where children attend,” the lawsuit states. “In addition, the criminal penalties of the law put individuals at risk of prosecution because of the content of their speech.”

 The lawsuit argues the law is broad enough to include “even the most innocent drag performances, to reach into the private homes of Florida citizens, and to determine on behalf of parents what is and is not appropriate entertainment for their children.

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